“Good Friday”?

You know I am a Rebel.

I’m a divorced single mom of two boys who still goes to church. The church I go to is full of rituals. To try to explain them to you would take all day…and you still wouldn’t understand them all. But I do it anyway. I go to church because one would least expect it. First off I’m divorced, yet I still believe in marriage. I’m a single mother by choice. It is more peaceful that way and I love my space and I love my independence and I love how strong of a woman I am. Yet that still doesn’t mean that I don’t need or want a man. After all I have two sons. From since I was a little girl, my parents taught me what we want most for our children: to be healthy, wise and good. The boys have fathers in their lives: first and foremost the Heavenly Father and he sends examples of men in their lives who are providers and protectors. God always provides.

So what does this have to do with Good Friday? Every year my church has a three hour church service. Most people roll their eyes at the thought and figure it out to be one word: “boring”. But I figure if you can stand up three or more hours at a fete, you can sit down for 3 or less hours in church and listen and experience the Word of God. You might learn something. Some counter that argument by stating that at a fete you enjoy yourself. Big misconception! I party too and to tell you the truth some fetes are sooo boring, especially if the music isn’t right. It can really turn you off. So this Good Friday my family and I went to church… for three hours and no one fell asleep. The four year old had colouring activities and snacks for days. The older boy was involved in the activities at the altar. I wrote down interesting notes in my journal and mom well she was enjoying time with the family. I caught her looking at her grandsons proudly every now and then. In Proverbs it says that grandchildren are jewels around the neck and I love to see her jewels shine in my mom’s eyes.

That’s what’s so good about Good Friday: unconditional love. Not only in my family but also in God’s family. “God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus preached the way of love and peace. His death was the world’s example of how such an injustice could bring healing through decisions which could solve the world’s violence. Crucifixion was an extremely violent way to go, yet through that Jesus brought the whole world to himself as he was lifted up on the cross. He brought the world together through languages as the inscription above him was written in the main languages of that time. He brought Romans and Jews together. He even brought his mom and the disciple whom He loved together as He let her know that He had to leave but reassured her that He is still here.

That’s what so good about Good Friday. Jesus had to leave…but He’s still here. All around us. Comforting us, being there for us in so many ways. Providing for us and protecting us, because we believe in Him and we will not perish. Our lives would not have been lived in vain. For we will pass down the goodness of unconditional love from generation to generation as we desire nothing for them but to be healthy, wise and good.






4 Things I would say to my ex

Strong women are that way for a reason. No matter how many times life knocks you over, you make the decision to get back up again and fight. “Cry a river. Build a bridge. Move on.” It’s difficult to admit that you were wrong. It’s difficult to build from the broken pieces. Yet you pull yourself together and move on. Life lesson. True story.

The truth is that divorce is a double edged sword of pain and peace. It was painful because the person you spoke to everyday is now gone. It was peaceful because all of the fighting was finished. You fight no more and it feels great.

If I ever saw my ex again, I would tell him these 4 things:

  1. I’m better off without you.
  2. Thank you for the good times.
  3. Thank you for showing me what I don’t want in a partner.
  4. I’m happy now.

(Drops mic, shrugs and walks away)




I can not even see my tattoos. Why? Because they are on my back. I put them there so I could hide them from my parents…but I ended up hiding them from myself. Go figure.

I got them in my first semester at university. No parents permission needed. My boyfriend at the time funded me. I went to the parlour with my new best friend. Actually it was in the hair dresser salon in town. The artist’s name was Troy and he was cute. My friend and I decided to get our zodiac signs. Mine is Aquarius. We were so afraid that it would hurt. We heard the stories of how to make sure that the needles were sterilised. We heard the stories of how they were not acceptable in Christian circles. We heard the stories of tattoos that went wrong.

No lie. It hurt at first. But once I got used to the needle it started to tickle. I put the first tattoo on my lower back. More tattoos came after that. The trend at the time was to have a rose in the centre of the lower back. For the pants at that time were a low-waist style. I had two jeans that would have complimented that tattoo. The first one had silver studs from the hip to the bottom of the pant leg. The second jeans was laced up at the front. Really sexy.

The second tattoo was difficult for two reasons. The red rose had to be redone because I did not hold colour well. Also the rose was around my spine. Anyone who has had a tattoo knows the discomfort which is experienced when the needles come into contact with a bone. It is recommended that tattoos be done on fleshy areas of the body.

Yet I went on to get another tattoo. My third tattoo was about music, my greatest love. The only problem I had with it was the size. It was the smallest tattoo I ever had and it was on my shoulder blade. After that I stopped getting tattoos. The appeal had gone and they were getting to be quite costly.

Why did I get tattoos? I was at a rebellious stage in my life. I wanted to do something memorable. I wanted to say I have been there and done that. It was all about me. Today they are faded pictures…memories of a past that I enjoyed but that is not my reality. I would not want to remove them and I would not want to have another one because that stage of rebel is gone and all that is left is peaceful contentment and understanding.

Free Yourself

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalms 55:22

I overthink. It’s part of the introvert than resides within me. So many thoughts swirl around in my head: about my children, my career, my academic pursuits, my love life… What I’ve learnt and continue to reasons within myself is that I am a cheerful, spontaneous and independent woman. My purpose is to live life day by day and try not to worry about tomorrow. psalm-55-22-large

My determined heart and strong willed personality has taught me some life lessons in the spheres of thought in which I engage from time to time. First off there is nothing wrong with deep thinking. There just needs to be a balance of the time where self evaluation needs to be entertained. I read somewhere that mental development comes from certain activities such as baking, knitting, sketching and writing. These activities and more encourage creativity. This creativity is within us and it needs to be activated on a regular basis. define myself

I am a strict mother at times. My sons are afraid to disappoint me and they adore my mother. It is only when you become a parent that you truly appreciate your parents and the sacrifices which they made for you back in the day. Your children behave as how you used to behave when you were a child and everything just goes through a cyclical transformation. Trust in the future they will understand you when they have children of their own. My thoughts become pre-occupied with having more children. Some have reasoned that in this day and age it may be impractical. Some have noted that I am still young and could go again. Then I wonder could I go through that again… and I remember Psalms 55:22.

It is difficult for me to picture myself as anything but a teacher. If they was ever a job to which I was more suited…teaching is it. Discovery learning is my passion. Grades are not everything but the effort taken is what matters to me. For instance, if I have a student who regurgitates everything that is written in book and gets a good grade, I am proud for that student has mastered the skills of knowledge and comprehension. In a similar vein I am elated when the student takes initiative and applies the acquired knowledge to create something outstanding. Do I think about my students? Of course…and I remember Psalms 55:22.

Ironically, my academic pursuits are linked with being a mom and a teacher and my love life. I am at a crossroads in my life which makes the Japanese proverb fall down 7 times get up 8, ring true. On the one hand I could hand in my letter of withdrawal and continue when the children are older and I am more established within my career. On the other hand I can work at it steadily and steadfastly, trying to break it down into manageable pieces. It sounds reasonable… and I remember Psalms 55:22.

Armed with the intent to lay all excuses down, I claim success and hold on to it in all aspects of life: physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Life is about creating myself. Leave the past behind and set goals. Break down these goals into quarterly goals and track the progress week by week. List everything which is needed to accomplish these goals such as skills and contacts. Create a vision board and begin a journal. This should be accomplished in the first week of the month.

comfort zone

In the second week, wake up 30 minutes earlier to have a morning routine to jumpstart the days filled with tasks. Adopt a nightly ritual and minimise T.V watching. Embark on a social cleanse…which will be difficult but necessary for overall well being. In the third week, meditate five minutes a day in order to exercise the mind as well as the body. Also try the Pomodoro technique in which tasks are split into 25 minute segments. After the first three Pomodoros, take a five minute break to relax after each one. After the fourth Pomodoro, take a 30 minute break to relax the mind. Also keep in mind that it is essential to do the problem tasks first.


In the fourth and final week, focus more on reading and listening to podcasts. There will be a quest for a professional mastermind whose dialogue will assist in moving forward in your chosen career. Also do one thing that is outside of your comfort zone. Finally encourage acts of kindness. This growth challenge taken from Goalcast will ensure that the year will follow along the lines of Psalms 55:22.

A near and dear friend of mine asked me before he left on a long journey of self awareness: What do you want in life? Here is what I have so far… For my love life I want a partner who gives me passion, honesty, loyalty, effort and time. This person must make me smile and make me feel as I am a priority. In return that same description is what I will give my partner. There is no hurry and we do not have to worry because I remember Psalms 55:22. To cast all of my anxiety, fear and worry on the Lord and He will hold me up because He never lets His children fall and that is a promise. God always keeps His promises.

10 principles in life

Just a Positive Reminder

This is type of reflection which serves as a safety net whenever I fall from walking the tightrope of my life. The circus of my life with the bright lights, music and distractions and the audience of family, friends and enemies watching my every move with anticipation of a successful show or a failed act. Whenever I fall, and it happens from time to time, my desire to achieve will override the fear of failure. So just a positive reminder:

My Bible verse for 2017 : – Psalm 16:8 “I keep my eyes always of the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

My personal motto: Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

My perfect description: If you love her, she would become your strength. If you care for her, she would become your shield. And if you try to understand her, she would become your wisdom. She would laugh with you, cry with you and fight with you but her friendship is rare and precious. She will give her all but before that you will have to earn the privilege of her friendship.

The truth about me: – She is naughty and she is nice. She can be the woman who amazes everyone at a party and she can also be the one who listens like an angel to all you have to say. She would rather tell you the harsh truth than comfort you with a lie. She can care like a mother and fight like a lover but she would never let you down when you need her friendship the most.

Who am I as a person: – She is a girl who understands herself. She knows what her strengths are and she soars with confidence which comes out of self-belief. She trusts herself to be independent but cares for others at the same time. She knows exactly how to balance the different sides of her life and this is what makes her so very beautiful.

My quote as reflected by my physical appearance: – “Be strong enough to let go and patient enough to wait for what you deserve.”

The colour, purple, reflects my name: decisive, headstrong and mysterious.

When life gets crazy, remember this: – “Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish them.”

The origin of my last name: (1542)
“In a world where it wasn’t uncommon to cheat others for your own personal gain, this family stood out for always treating others with fairness. No matter who they were dealing with, your family always sought to be just. To be a member of this family was widely associated with being both fair and trustworthy.”

My significant quote: “I admire people who choose to shine after all the storms they’ve been through.”

How attractive are you?: You are truly beautiful. You love God, life and you value the people around you. Your positive energy and personality makes you more than just a pretty face.

How have you dealt with hardships?: Hardships come in like the waves of the ocean in your life- ebbing and flowing. Sometimes you were calm and many times you were overwhelmed. All you did was to learn how to swim. It overwhelmed you enough to make you cry but it made you believe that you have seen the worst and nothing can break you anymore.

My quote for life: – It’s impossible to beat a person who refuses to give up.”

My purpose here on earth: Your purpose is to lead other people to God. You are a woman who knows her worth and you hope to one day travel the world sharing your vision and success with millions of people.Love has taught me that change has a way of re-defining us as individuals. It is the thing that strengthens and stretches us the most.
Finally, this is me in short:
She is crazy because she follows her heart. She believes in taking chances and risking it all for something she truly believes in. We need more and more people like her, for the desires of her heart causes a flame that can ignite many other beautiful minds. She is one of a kind. She’s magic. She knows her worth and what difference she can make with her existence. She inspires others.



Laughing with God

It feels like bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Well actually it’s split down the middle. Bad things also happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.

There is a wise quote in the Bible and it coincides with the philosophy of Buddha. In Matthew, it is quoted to love your enemies and noted that the sun and the rain fall on both the unjust and the just. It is easy to love the ones that treat us well. We are really children of God when we love the ones who mistreat us.

One instance of this happen quite recently to a friend of mine. Her identity was stolen. She realised that another woman stole her name and was walking around pretending to be her. It went as far as her social media and even her credit cards and bank accounts. Understandably she was upset, she wanted to lash out at the person when she discovered her. But she related that doing these things would not provide a solution. She decided to figure out the reason why this person would do this. She tried to understand the reasoning and although her initial perception of this imposter was that she was crazy, after reflection she realised that this person was just misunderstood.

Your name, your family, your life all make up your identity. But the understanding of the word identity goes much deeper than that. Your identity is a reflection of true loyalty. This helps to shape your identity no matter how much you change physically or philosophically. Your identity is intertwined with that of the Creator. When you feel like blaming or engaging with negativity look to the great healer. Time heals all wounds. They might hurt but it gets better. Through reflection there is the opportunity to view how much you’ve grown and laugh with God at your dreams and perceptions then and view your present situation. Here in this moment -living life abundantly.

Doctorate Mom

For years I have been struggling to complete this doctorate.

Nothing has been so frustrating or so lonely. So while browsing on Pinterest, I came across this picture:


At first, I laughed because I thought that the idea was preposterous. Soon the laughter transformed to intrigue as I wondered about the possibility of this occurrence. Uncertainty is the motive behind my initial laughter. I am uncertain about the completion of my studies. How will I apply the doctorate to my life? What do I hope to get from the doctorate? Of course it could be prestige or respect among family members and peers.

Follow my doctorate pin: https://www.pinterest.com/lrnicholls84/doctorate/

But it goes beyond that. That is the surface meaning. The deeper meaning is what matters. The answer is I need this doctorate to allow God to work through me. Every morning I devote time to God no matter how harried my schedule appears to be. Put God first and you will never be last. That’s my personal motto. The prayer went like this:

Lord, I want to move forward and take hold of all that You have taken hold of for me, but sometimes I have trouble letting go. Help me to release all that hinders my spiritual growth and intimate relationship with You. I open my heart, my hands and my eyes to all You have for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

After that heartfelt prayer, I surrendered my will to God and asked him to use me on a deeper spiritual level. He opened my heart, my hands and my eyes. He answered, answers and continues to answer my prayers in the right time, in  His time.

True, there are many obstacles and at times it feels like the journey’s progress is difficult. Yet perseverance seldom fails. Keep chipping away at that mountain, remove the tiny pebbles, which fill up the mind with negativity and let that Goliath of an obstacle fall. Things do not always work to plan. That’s where faith intervenes. That’s where hope intervenes. That’s where love intervenes. Nevertheless they all work out for good. God’s will is always good. Obstacles can be good in a way for they help to develop an appreciation for that which is there. Your heart is open. Your hands are open. Your eyes are open. For the possibilities exist everywhere. Make the most of them.

Natty Dread Dem

Natural hair is not only a decision; it’s a process.


My journey began when I saw my processed hair on the floor of the natural hair salon. I felt a mix of emotions: regret, sadness, fear and happiness coursing through me. How would my parents react? How would my family and friends react? Will I be treated differently? My parents’ reactions varied from outright loving my new look to nonchalantly shrugging the shoulders and saying: “Your hair will soon grow back.” My close friends’ reaction was similar. In fact they inquired: “Why did you cut your long hair?” But society treated me differently with short hair than with long hair. With short hair, I was perceived as a rebel, afro-centric and artistic. I was viewed less feminine and treated differently to my counterparts with longer tresses. I believe the photo above summarises the views. Yet at that point in the salon chair, all I experienced, was the wind blowing across the nape of my neck for what felt like the first time in years. I felt exhilarated, like I was about to start a new adventure.



Comb twists style (Note: this is not the author)

My hair was an inch and a half long and the hairdresser did it in comb twists. She used holding gel and the end of the rat-tailed comb and twisted it. My hair looked different, lively and natural. Before my chemically processed hair was flat and dull. Every three months I had to submit my hair to chemical torture. Between the smell of the straightener and the burns on my scalp I had to take action to reclaim my natural hair.




Artificial shoulder length natural twists (Note: this is not the author)


For months I hid it under the guise of artificial shoulder length natural twists. My hair grew and had to be treated again every three months. Then I found a texturiser which was less damaging to my hair. My decision to loc my hair came around after the death of my father. Out of respect and also out of fear of disapproval from my father, I started the process of locking my hair. It was an amazing feeling. Natural oils replaced the harmful chemicals. My coils were liberated and celebrated. The downside to it was that society expected me to act a certain way: be a vegan, not wash my hair, be artsy, smoke weed, listen to Bob Marley!?!



When asked why chose this hairstyle, my response is comedic: I don’t like to comb my hair. What surprised me is that this hairstyle is a lifestyle. Yet it teaches you that people’s opinions belong to them. Don’t adopt them or take them on as your own. It also challenges the perception of beauty. Natural beauty goes beyond hair, skin and nails. It is a holistic experience. It is a conscious decision that is made every  waking moment of your life.

My natural decision also goes to wearing makeup. For me, makeup is for special occasions. As my lifestyle is hectic, it is difficult to factor in the necessary time for makeup. My hope is that when my lifestyle slows down, there will be an opportunity to incorporate time for makeup. I am of the view that makeup should enhance your natural features and not cover them up. My makeup celebrates my ebony skin, my small almond shaped brown eyes and my full luscious lips. It does not cover up my flaws, which make me unique. It compliments them. This vision allows a sense of freedom.

visionToday, decide to live your life free from grudges, free from the drama and in peace. And remember that we are not perfect, only our Maker is perfect. We may strive for perfection but we must not let our perception of perfection take over our lives. Those persons whom you have issues with, or disagree with on points, that is acceptable because we are all different naturally. So when you see them smile at them because we are all fighting the same struggle which we call life. If someone does you wrong or if you wrong someone, step back and karma will do the rest. Life is too short to be worried about someone else. Strive to be better than you were yesterday and always put God first. Don’t try to live another person’s life. Live your own. Make the decision and go along with the process. Only God knows the destination at the end of the road of your personal development.

Be natural! Be beautiful! Be you!

Caring Culture

Quite recently my  career has shifted from the public sphere to the private domain. At the end our day of professional development, the participants were of the same opinion: it was not only informative but it provided the platform to build vital skills in our discipline, which is that of education.

tribesMy introduction to the system of Tribes agreements was quite recent. These Agreements stand upon four pillars: mutual respect, attentive listening, appreciations (no put downs) and the right to participate/pass. When practised within the learning experience, the result is a safe classroom environment where every stakeholder in education (students, teachers, parents, administrators and investors) can benefit. The principles of Tribes extend beyond the classroom and can be utilised in the home and the community.


Upon arrival to today’s session the first thing that stood out was the seating arrangement. The chairs were arranged in a continuous circle to demonstrate the preference of the “guide on the side” instead of the “sage on stage”. The presenter effectively disseminated informative resources that would assist within the session and were transferable to the classroom.


The session began with a definition of Tribes and the ensuing powerful influence it would have in delivering the written  and the hidden curriculum. Through Tribes, the information in the various subject areas would  be covered. The participants were urged to ask the students to describe what the four pillars of the Tribes agreement would look, sound and feel like. By doing this issues relating to classroom management will significantly decrease. In addition the facilitator introduced the statement of appreciation. This exemplifies the affective aspect of the lesson plan as most of the focus is on the cognitive and psychomotor skills. It appears in some cases that affective skills are all but forgotten or neglected. For instance, to inculcate the feelings of kindness the concept of “Have you filled your bucket today?” was introduced to aid appreciation and attentive listening. Furthermore, there would  be a significant development in the  emotional intelligence within the students, which is crucial to success for the future. It must be noted that most successful persons have a high level of emotional intelligence.


Inclusion, Influence and Community were the components on the Tribes Trail. For Inclusion, the participants were sanctioned to implement group work and cooperative learning into the lessons. It is imperative that students learn the life skill of teamwork. In fact, the most common question asked on the job interview is: “Are you a team player?” The Inclusion activities promoted teamwork and could be incorporated with the written curriculum. Some of these were I Like My Neighbour, One Ball Pass, What’s in my wallet?, Bubble letters and the ever popular Rock, Paper, Scissors.


Through these activities, the participants experienced the benefits of cooperation. These benefits could be transferred to the students’ emotional intelligence for they boost academic achievement, constructive thinking, social competency, social support, psychological health and a positive self esteem. Also connected to emotional intelligence were reflections which strengthened content, behavioural and personal growth. Through the examination of emotional intelligence the participants encountered Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardiner. This reiterated the blanket statement that “learning is a process of making connections to previous experiences and interests”.


On approaching the end of the session the participants were inspired to examine the ways how the development of emotional intelligence can work for the students, the parents and the faculty. All in all, the assessment of emotional intelligence centred on self-perception, self expression, interpersonal, decision making and stress tolerance. All of these life skills would result in a Beginners’ Mind as our students will be viewed from a fresh stance. By believing in our students so they can believe in themselves, our future will be transformed. The past cannot be undone, however the changes in the present will have long term effects on the future. Therefore make the most of today. Today for me was thought-provoking, validating, refreshing and inspiring as through bonding with like minded educators we filled our professional skills bucket so we can take on the role of education one student, teacher, parent, administrator and investor at a time.