grateful

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

A Message of Compassion

I am sure that you all have heard of the story about how Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 with only 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. If you haven’t, can I encourage you to do so? It’s in Matthew 14. It was a great miracle Jesus preformed that day but that is not the main focus of what I am writing about now. While reading this story I was really touched by a certain line:

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick."

Now to fully take in this moment you have to know about the one prior. Jesus had just heard His friend John the Baptist was murdered and because of that He left his disciples to be alone. It’s not many times in the Bible when you hear about Jesus venturing off to be by himself so for the times that He did you know it must have been something serious. Although Jesus had a heart for all those who died John the Baptist hit a little closer to home. Not only was John the one to baptized Jesus, they were also cousins. So to then hear John died due to a selfish king’s senseless actions made it even harder to bare. 

Whether troubled times are up ahead, you are in the midst of them, or you just got through them, to continually stand firm like He did is a thing many of us wish we could do. 
That is what truly snags at my heart strings. Jesus gave up his own personal time to be with the people. He had a heart to see beyond himself and reach the helpless. Imagine if everyone - me included - just gave up a little of their time instead of justifying it to fit their needs. Imagine how much lovelier the world would be.

Despite feeling upset and wanting to be alone, Jesus put his emotions aside for the need of others. How does someone do that? The death of any loved one makes focusing your mind on anything else one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Nonetheless, Jesus still HAD COMPASSION when the people came seeking him out. Everyone would have understood the circumstances had He chosen to say He couldn’t help but He didn’t. In His grief Jesus saw that He was still able to bless and help others so He did just that. In his sadness He still had a heart for everyone.

image

 

Your grace and compassion know no end. Thank you Jesus for being the purest form of love this world has ever known.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

Dear Mom, Ma, and Dad,

           The other day I came across the verses Psalm 44:1-3. They go as follows:

"We have heard it with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm and the light of your face, for you loved them."

With that I just wanted to take the time out to say thank you. I take a look at my life now and marvel at the length and depth of it all. I rejoice in the years spent on this earth. Some of them were tough to get through but nonetheless, I am stil here. With God’s grace and everlasting, all-consuming, unfathomable love I am here. Which brings me back to you three. The reason I have been blessed with knowing such a love is because I was raised with it and in it. You also raised me with a truth that was attached to this love. You showed it to me from such a young age that it became a part of me. I knew nothing from it.

       So as I left the nest and ventured off on my own I had nothing to fear. Yes, I admit to being nervous and a bit apprehensive but it was the examples of Christ in your lives and and the stories told to me through you all that allowed me to forge on on my unpaved path - the one I still walk today. I walk boldly in the face of my future because I know that a set of parents that believe in me whole-heartedly also stand behind me. And behind them is a God who would die for me and did; a God who would fight for me and has. I know He stands rooted behind me and you - all of us.

"I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory… in God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever." - Psalm 44: 6-8

As a child, albeit a 21-year-old child I think that is one of the greatest gifts, lessons, advice, you could have ever passed down. You didn’t have to but you did.

So with that I say, ese ati mo dupe fun parents bi ti yin.

Always + forever

Mamma T. Teeni. Teniola Taiwo.