Happy New Year!!!

lohHello Friends,

I hope you had a peaceful Christmas break.

I am very pleased to share with you the newly revamped website for ‘Letters of Hope’.

All resources available for sale (book, journals and gift packs) can be purchased directly from the website.

I intend to blog more often in this new year!  My blog posts will be shared on this platform.  If there are any specific topics you’d like me to blog on, please feel free to send an email to hello@lettersofhope.org.uk

I will also be featuring ‘Stories of Hope’ – those who have experienced bereavement and are keen to support others on the same journey.  If you are interested in being part of this project, please feel free to contact me via the website or email: hello@lettersofhope.org.uk

Lastly, if you know of any organization that would be benefit from Letters of Hope resources, please do get in touch.

Thank you for your support.

God’s blessings,

Ope

 

 

Letters of Hope Journal

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Hello there!

Hope your week is going well.

I’m thrilled to share with you another powerful resource from ‘Letters of Hope’.

The Letters of Hope journal has been designed to help you…yes you  ‘Keep Hope Alive’, despite the challenge(s) you may be going through.

In my early years of grieving, I bottled up my emotions, I was angry, I was bitter, I was confused…I wished I had taken time out to write down my thoughts.  However, as I got older, I discovered journaling and it has been a great help for a number of years now.  It is a powerful tool  for dealing with overwhelm and also for gaining clarity.  I also use it as a form of communicating with God.

We all need a bit of encouragement every now and then and it’s my pleasure to share with you some of my favourite verses in this exclusive ‘Letters of Hope’ journal.  Each page features either an uplifting note or an encouraging bible verse to meditate on.  You may not be able to verbally express your feelings but you’d be amazed by how your thoughts start to flow when you pick up a pen and a journal, so why don’t you give it a try today.

The journal is available to order via the website. It is also ideal as a gift to friends and loved ones.  If you’re looking for something simple and uplifting to give a loved one who is perhaps anxious about the festive season, due to a bereavement, this gift of  faith, hope and love will surely be appreciated.

God’s blessings,

Ope xxx

 

Introducing LoH logo

Happy Weekend All,

I trust you have had a great week and if your week hasn’t gone so well, I encourage you to praise God all the same and trust that He will turn things around for your good…Stay hopeful!

Today, I wanted to share with you the newly designed logo for ‘Letters of Hope’ – the organization.  It has been an interesting journey and I am super excited to share this with you ????loh

I am just so in awe of this Mighty God. I remember exactly where I was when I prayed about the logo for Letters of Hope. One of my mentors, or should I say midwives had asked me to pray about it and I thought okay why not.

I prayed about it as I was driving to work one morning, my commute can be anything from 40 minutes to an hour, I don’t recall how long it took me on this particular day but I remember exactly what junction I was at when a specific image came to mind. I was super excited, it made so much sense and I couldn’t wait till I parked up, so I could type it up in my notes just in case I forgot (as if lol). I parked up – made some notes and immediately searched for images to capture my thoughts, none really matched up to what I had visualized although there were some similar ideas.

I knew from the onset whom I would commission to design my logo, so I got in touch and gave her a brief. This logo here is the first and only draft image she sent to me, I was simply blown away. I fell in love straight away. I am still in love.

The choice of colours is a narrative for another day. The Holy Spirit led me to loh2these colours and yes yes yes I absolutely love them.

There is nothing too insignificant for God to handle, nothing is too small for Him. He is interested in every detail of our lives, especially that which He has called us to do.

Somebody please help me Praise this God.

Watch out for exciting products and projects coming soon!! 

Have a blessed weekend xx

Pray Until Something Happens (P.U.S.H)

Sometimes we may experience unexpected challenges in life. Things could be going well for us and our loved ones and then suddenly we experience a crisis with no prior warning. Suddenly we are stopped in our tracks and we can’t seem to move forward in life.

Setbacks, Challenges, Knock-backs are all part of life experiences. There are lessons of life that can only be appreciated through personal experience. Someone else’s narrative doesn’t do us as much justice.  As individuals we are forced to grow and mature from these challenges, they become part of our story in the journey of life.

So what do we do when we experience these setbacks? 

  • We simply P.U.S.H – We Pray Until Something Happens.  Just like the image in this post, these guys did not sit down and fold their arms when their car broke down, instead of sitting and worrying about their predicament, they got up and started pushing. We should also do likewise – Pray instead of worrying. Pray instead of having a pity-party.  We ought to pray not just for the sake of it, as a religious act but because we want to see the hand of God move in our lives.  Those pushing the car are not doing so for the fun of it, or to show off their physical strength but they are desperate for the car to get moving and get them to their destination. They are not pushing with one finger but with as much strength to get the car moving.  Even the old man with the walking stick to the far left is using his limited strength to push forward.

Our prayers should mirror this – a desperate cry out to God, to move us from where we are to where we need to get to. These guys pushing the car, not only want to get the car moving but they desire to hear the engine roar. When we pray, our desire should be to hear from God, to hear Him confirm His promise or to hear Him guide and direct us.

  • We enlist the help of others.  We should ask for help and get our loved ones (friends, relatives, church members) to pray along with us, especially when we are feeling weak and vulnerable.  Just like those pushing the car in the image, the more people we have pushing, the greater our chances of success.

Sometimes, others may have an encouraging word for us, God may choose to speak to us through others.  In asking others to pray along with us, they might have experienced a similar challenge and can offer advice to help us get through the storm.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says – “Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better.  If one falls, the other pulls him up, but if a man falls when he is alone, he’s in trouble. Also, on a cold night, two under the same blanket get warmth from each other, but how can one be warm alone? And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. We should not underestimate the tremendous power of a multitude of people praying over the same issue especially when we are feeling weak and vulnerable.

  • We must get rid of unnecessary baggage.  Just like the image shown in this blog post, sometimes to move forward, we need to lay aside certain things (such as bad habits, bad attitude, mindset, fear) or people in our lives that are weighing us down. They might have been useful in the past but it may be time to move on without them.  Hebrews 12:1  says – “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us”. We should ask God for wisdom to know the things we need to get rid of in our lives, things which are holding us back.
  • We must be persistent in Pushing! – We shouldn’t just PUSH once and give up hope.  We have to be persistent in our asking, in our praising, in our thanksgiving.  For lack of a better word, we keep nagging God until we hear clearly from Him – Yay! Nay! or not right now!  Sometimes God doesn’t always answer when we want or how we want him to, He may not take away our pain & our burdens, but He gives us the grace to cope and to move forward.

“The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man  can accomplish much ..it is dynamic and can have tremendous power” – James 5:16

  • We may need to refuel and recharge – We may have reached a point in our journey where we’ve run out of ‘fuel’. We simply need to refuel by spending time with God and feeding on His word.   We can choose to either read or listen to the word. As we spend more time with God, we’ll build up our faith, which will help us get through the hurdles of life.

My prayer is that we will not give up Hope.  We will continue to trust in God knowing our prayers do make a difference.  God will answer our prayers at the time and in the way that will bring Him the greatest glory.

#BeEncouraged

Chosen for such a time as this!

Happy Monday,

It has been awhile since I’ve blogged, let’s just say I was on a summer break 🙂

Special thanks to all those who reached out to check on me. May you also be surrounded by those who genuinely love and care about you (Amen).

So this past weekend was eventful for me. Saturday, 24th September was my dearest mum’s birthday. I usually don’t do anything special on this day except of course to remember her.

I knew this year would be extra special when a dear friend and mentor, Detola Amure of Super Working Mum announced that the Empowering Mothers Conference would be on the same date. The theme for the conference was ‘Chosen for such a time as this’.  I was super excited and expectant about this event, not just as a member of the planning committee but also as a delegate. I was expectant to receive from the Most High. 

The conference was a great success, all glory to God Almighty!!! I am still buzzing from this amazing experience and wanted to share my top 4 lessons with you:

  1. Don’t shy away from your calling.

If you’re willing to be used by God, He will open doors for you and create the right opportunities for you. I was one of the exhibitors on the day and my plan was to only exhibit some of the products from my gift sourcing business (AHFOG Creations).  I was concerned about displaying my book ‘Letters of Hope’ as I thought it wouldn’t be the appropriate place to share the message and perhaps people might be put off with the idea of mixing bereavement support material with other items on display. Anyway I kept getting a nudge to take copies of my book with me. I was reluctant to do so but finally decided to take them along, however I had planned to hide them under the table until all other products were sold and then I would bring them out.  Somehow, when I got to the venue, I felt at peace and I went ahead to display my books along with my other products.

To my surprise, Letters of Hope was actually the best selling product on the day. A lot of people were interested. In fact, there was a lady who said she had been looking for the ideal gift for a friend who had recently lost a loved one and she felt this was it. 

I am simply amazed by what God can do through each and every single one of us, when we yield to His leading. I am glad I eventually got over my ‘shyness’ with showcasing Letters of Hope and I could be a blessing to a number of people.

God reminded me on the day that He has blessed me with different gifts and talents but He also has a special calling for me, there is a specific ‘nation’ He has called me to serve. My gifts and talents will help me in fulfilling my purpose BUT they are separate from my calling. I must not shy away from the mission He has assigned to me. I must use all He has placed inside of me for His glory.

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” ‭‭ Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

2. Surround yourself with the right company; friends and mentors that will support you in your journey.

There will be seasons in your life when you will run out of steam, because life gets busy, these people will push you along, they will champion your cause, encouraging you all the way. They will look out for you and cheer you on. Your calling is not about you, it is bigger than you, so God will equip you, BUT he will also send destiny helpers your way, look out for them. Be obedient and have a humble spirit. I hadn’t actually planned to exhibit but my dear friend hosting the conference encouraged me to do so, and I am so glad I listened. I also had another friend exhibiting on the day, it was great to have someone on the same journey and we could support each other in preparing for our ‘maiden’ exhibit. 

“Some relationships have to go, some relationships you have to find – destiny helpers”Laura Jeyibo

3. Serving others is your training ground!

In volunteering to help others to fulfill their own purpose, you are bound to learn lessons for your own journey. You will surely grow in your own walk and God will elevate you at His appointed time. Enough said about this 🙂

4. Your story is not unique

Your pain and journey is not totally unique, there are others who have experienced the same challenges and difficulties in life. There is a specific ‘nation’ that God has called you to serve, to reach out to and support. Your story will make sense to them, God will connect you with them when the time comes.    

“Your pain is not going to be a waste. God can use your pain for His glory if you allow him. Your past is part of your purpose, don’t discount your past , it is part of what makes you special”Detola Amure

I’ll leave you with my favourite quote from the event:

“When you find what you’re meant to do, you’ll sense God’s pleasure” – Fiona Jones.

I definitely sensed God’s presence AND pleasure on Saturday :-). My prayer is that you will sense God’s pleasure in your own circle of influence too, no matter the size, or environment – perhaps it’s in your home. 

Have a fantastic week,

#BeEncouraged 

P.U.S.H

Pray Until Something Happens (P.U.S.H)

Sometimes we may experience unexpected challenges in life. Things could be going well for us and our loved ones and then suddenly we experience a crisis with no prior warning. Suddenly we are stopped in our tracks and we can’t seem to move forward in life.

Setbacks, Challenges, Knock-backs are all part of life experiences. There are lessons of life that can only be appreciated through personal experience. Someone else’s narrative doesn’t do us as much justice.  As individuals we are forced to grow and mature from these challenges, they become part of our story in the journey of life.

So what do we do when we experience these setbacks?  Read more

Still I Press On

When you are going through a tough time, especially following the loss of a loved one.  It could also be the loss of a job, or perhaps your health may be deteriorating or you may be experiencing financial difficulties, the tendency is to feel downcast and abandoned especially if you have been praying over the issue for a very long time.

Sometimes, it may even seem like your problems are getting worse instead of getting better. The key is not to give up Hope, try not to focus on what you see or what you feel BUT keep trusting and believing God to get you through the storm.

I love how the Message bible puts it in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”

I pray that despite your brokenness, your wounds, your heaviness, your weariness and loneliness, you will find strength and comfort in the promises of God and keep holding on until the sun starts shining in your life.  It will be soon.

#BeEncouraged

 

Light in the Darkness (Part II)

1st Thess. 5:5 – “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness”.

As children of God, we carry the light of God in us and should influence the world around us by bringing them Hope in the midst of chaos.

One of my favourite Sunday school songs growing up was ‘This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine’.  The words of that song are relevant regardless of your age, your past and your pain.  We are holding a light and we are to let it shine! Read more

Reach out & Touch Somebody’s Hand

Most of my blog posts are written to encourage those grieving from the loss of a dear one.  However, I wanted to reach out to those who might be acquainted with the bereaved. You may be a friend, work colleague, member of the same church etc.

The truth is, most of us know someone who is going through a tough time right now, following the death of a loved one.  If not, you will at some point in life.  It’s simply the nature of life.  There’s a time to be born and a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3:2). We grieve the death of our loved ones because we love them and our hearts are broken from our loss.

How do we comfort those who are grieving?

Most people stay away from the bereaved because they worry about not knowing exactly what to say.  Read more

Light in the darkness

In my book ‘Letters of Hope’, I mentioned in Chapter 9 how I used to dread night time following my mum’s death. This was when my problems or burdens seemed bigger than they really were. I’d lay down and start thinking all sorts of negative things. More often than not, when I eventually fell asleep, the result would be nightmares.

Darkness can mean different things to various people depending on their circumstances. It can signify any or all of the following:

  • Danger
  • Loneliness
  • Being lost or being in a state of confusion
  • Oppression
  • Fear of dying or of the unknown

Read more