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For my birthday weekend, we took a late afternoon drive down to Brighton, hoping to catch the picturesque sunset and have some of that famous pier fish and chips. As we drove on, I couldn't help but think how far I have come, how blessed I am, and how much more is to come. It's overwhelming!!!! Seriously my heart is filled with tears, tears of joy, and gratitude.

At times I believe tears are like words expressing the deepest parts of you, so never be afraid of crying. See I look at all I am, and I have so many people to be thankful for because they have, and still actively contribute to my 'NOW', but ultimately I am so thankful to God, because every Good thing comes from him. He is the one that gives me breath and keeps me, he placed people in my life from my parents to family, to friends, he is the one that kept me, strengthened me, made provision, birthed things into me and so much more. So for that I am beyond thankful.

I remember last year trying to figure out what to do, then it hit me!! My birthday fell on 'red nose day' which was a charity day here in the UK so I got all my girlfriends to buy the T-shirts, we painted our faces, got some goodie bags stuffed with food, snacks, scarfs, socks, etc and went on a London tour by night bus and right after walked the streets of London handing out gift bags to the homeless. WHY?!!! See l love love.. birthdays and gifting people. The thrill of secretly trying to figure out what they would love and their face once they receive it is so rewarding. So that time around I felt, what better way to celebrate than to gift those in need with 'necessities' . Trust me if you live in the UK, March is so cold and so many sleep rough which wrecks my heart. I know most have their opinions on the homeless but I followed my gut and was content.

After those cold hours walking up and down, we ended up in 'Tinsel Town' to grab some food. Whilst there my girl ' Bee' whom I call my quarter, as she's so close to my heart asked me to list at least 25 lessons I learnt that year, it really had me thinking and thought each bday hence forth I will list the most prominent lessons that echo in my heart and mind. So here goes..

1. Be unapologetically brave :-

Don't feel you have to justify yourself before people,- a wise man once said ' if you are pleasing everyone then you are not being true to yourself, because you can never please everyone, so be true to yourself. Even the greatest man that ever lived was not loved by all. I dare you to be brave about life, decisions, actions and opportunities, don't let fear master and control you.

2. There is beauty in brokenness :-

Don't be afraid of your story. Don't allow past experiences to define you.  There's a song that goes :-

'If it had not been for the shaking,

I never would have been ready for the making, no.....

If it had not been for the beating,
I would have never knew how anointed I would be.....

If it had not been for the pressing,
I wouldn't be able to walk into my destiny.
He's preparing me, preparing me, preparing me for greater...'

This pretty much cover what I am trying to say..

3. Contend for knowledge and wisdom

This is one of the best lessons ever. Bearing in mind wisdom means application of knowledge. You can only get this from being ready for growth. Read a lot, surround yourself with the right people that will challenge, add, edify and love on you. Learn to apply things you learn, travel and be open. ( with wisdom obviously) :)

4. Love :-

Once you understand love, real love, you will start to appreciate people and things. We are not perfect but once you identify an area of growth, apply change. Love on people, be it family or strangers. Treasure moments and build memories. For those in relationships, don't let past hurts mess up your future blessing. LOVE is the antidote for everything. 

5. Plan, Prepare, Act:-

Lastly there is spectacular something about planning. One thing I can advice is,  as soon as you have an idea or opportunity, count the cost and be bold about making that move. Don't over calculate, the element of faith is necessary, so at times it may be tackling one thing at a time, but planning, preparation and acting is key. Write down your dreams, your plans and goals. However don't be so rigid about it all, meaning when it doesn't happen you crumble. Nope bad attitude! Just flow.. 

Okay, I will stop at that, So let's take a moment to say thank you God for life, mercy and love. If you don't believe in God, I say it with a hug and smile 'you one day will and it's the best and most beautiful thing ever' .

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Happy birthday to all the March babies.

 Lots Of Love

Essie

Dress: Asos, Shoes: RiverIsland

Photography by my dearest : simonavision.weebly.com

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