"" From Now Till 'I Do'...: January 2010

Married in a year

4 Things the people are saying

You know when you hear those stories of a couple who meet each other and just knew that God has called them to be together. 12 months ago they didn’t even know each other, or know each other that well and now they are getting married. How does it make you feel?

For me, I find it so amazing how God works. A chance meeting, a brief encounter, divine appointment. It’s not until you reflect back do you realise that God had it planned out all along. One of these days I will share how Mr E and I met and how I knew that he was the man God had destined for me. We had many chance encounters, some would call it fate, I would call it God’s timing.

In the meantime meet Suzanne Hadley Gosselin.

Suzanne is a writer for Boundless. A writer who I admire and respect and who last September got married to her husband Kevin. Incidentally she got married on the same day we were supposed to get married, but get this, 12 months prior she was single.

suzanne and kevin 

In her article One Year From Now…You could be Married, she talks about how in the space of a year she and Kevin went from close friends to engaged to married and how God orchestrated it all.

I’ve read Boundless for many years and Suzanne’s story is such a huge encouragement because I read her articles as a single woman, sharing her frustrations and pains, when things didn’t necessarily work out or one felt that God had forgotten about my life. But as I’ve always said, God is faithful and Suzanne’s story is a great testimony to all single and married people. It’s amazing what God can do if you trust Him.

During her period of singleness she said there were three things that helped her to hang onto hope:

  • Actively getting to know God's character
  • Having the right kind of friends
  • Investing in things that matter

I would definitely agree.

You can read more about Suzanne’s 'Year to Love' story, engagement and marriage posts by clicking the links.

Looking for more? Check out: Biblical dating: From 'Hi to I do' in 12 months

{Image by Heather Bauers}

10 Things

3 Things the people are saying
  1. I have been a Christian {properly} for 10 years and I’m learning more and more about God each day. I say properly because before then I never really took it seriously. Sometimes I wonder where my life would be at without God and I am grateful to Him for his mercy, grace and many blessings over my life. Bible in 90 days update: Leviticus was never the most exciting book of the bible!
  2. I am big foot. I wear a UK size 10 shoe {11.5 US}, which has always been a nightmare as shoe retailers seem to think that shoe sizes stop at 8 and if you’re any bigger than that you have no fashion taste and want to wear big rocks for shoes. Wedding shoes are even worse. Nowadays this is getting better and in some stores I can even get into an 8. Yay! Now I don’t think my foot is shrinking, their shoes must be getting bigger, right?
  3. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a hairdresser. One day I would love to have my own hairdressing beauty salon. A place where women can come and fellowship as well as look good. 
  4. When I was 16 I wrote a letter into a woman’s weekly about the lack of cosmetics for black people on the high street and it got published! They sent me £20 for the trouble. I was well impressed!
  5. I love reading and at school I won an award for taking the most books out of the library. I am a nerd and proud of it! Today I love to read and write. Today I blog.
  6. I write loads of lists and carry notebooks around with me all the time. I find it a calming way to organise my thoughts and actions for the day. If I can’t find my notebook, the back of an envelope will do just fine.
  7. I am the eldest of six. I have 3 brothers and two sisters, who I love to pieces and am immensely proud of.
  8. Up until a year ago, I never used to cook. My idea of dinner consisted of cereal and milk. Today… well you can check out how I roll now. I am also a non-drinker of both fizzy drinks and alcohol.
  9. I have sung on the same stage as John Legend. Not at the same time of course, but our church held a concert at the same venue where he had just recently performed. I did get to see him in concert one time {great show} and afterwards meet him. Very small guy in real life!
  10. I work better under pressure {read: procrastinator}, which explains why I am still trying to figure out my tax return and the deadline is Sunday!

Love rush

12 Things the people are saying
How cute are these love dishes! Perfect for entertaining or for a romantic evening for two?

Can be ordered from Angelic Weddings.

Me Husband. You Wife.

6 Things the people are saying

Haddassah blogged about the role of a husband on 'Before I did' and thought it would be great to share.

The role of a husband can be summed up in the 4 P's, Provider, Protector, Priest and Prophet.

Provider: Financially, physically.

Protector: Being the authority in home, emotionally and physically, protect your wife from your family members by covering her weaknesses and emphasising her strengths (and vice versa for wives)

Priest: Spiritual head, should set guidance and leadership for praise, worship and prayer. No staying at home while wife and kids go to church.

Prophet: Setting the vision for the home, a clear sense of direction. {It is important to have a general idea of where a man is going before you agree to marry him just in case you're not interested in his destination}.

I asked Mr E whether he agreed with this and say if a guy was 3 out of the 4, would he be failing as a husband? His response was yes.

That's deep! But I guess the role of a husband is not an easy one and not one to be entered into lightly.

I really like the list and it made me consider what my role as a wife should be. Surely if my husband is doing all these things then there is requirement on my side to do my part. Even if he isn't, that shouldn't stop me being a good wife and honouring God with my ministry.

So what does that look like? I believe there are three things which epitomises the role of a wife.

- To be submissive, essentially being respectful to him and honouring his role as the head of the home {Eph 5:22}
- To be his supporter and helper: You are his biggest cheerleader, inside and outside of the home
- To be a home-maker with or without children on the scene {Prov 14:1}

All of this done through unconditional love.

Now different people will view this list differently, so I ask the following questions:

- If you have a man who is all those four things: provider, protector, priest and prophet, do you agree that our role should be as described? If not what would you add/change?
- Should our side of the 'deal' be too hard to keep?
- What do you do when he isn't those things?

Happy Monday! Girl in the Mirror.

2 Things the people are saying

I've been thinking a lot lately about self image and self esteem and how sometimes as women we can struggle with both. Magazines and television bombard us with images of how we should look, what we should wear, what kind of wedding we should have and it can be all to easy to start to draw comparisons and feel inferior. However when you think that 95% of the images are not even real, it does make you wonder, why do we waste our time feeling this way.

Verses like 1 Peter 3:3-4 are great, because they remind us of the kind of beauty we should be striving for and help put things into perspective.

'Don't depend on things like fancy hairdos or gold jewelry or expensive clothes to make you look beautiful. Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet. This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special.'

This is the kind of beauty I want to have.

I've started to collect verses from the Bible which provide encouragement for those times when I forgot.

Verses like:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13

"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:7

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

Is it wonderful to know we are held in such high regard!

Ladies, share your favourite verses and lets remind each other of who we are in Christ.

In My Kitchen: Egusi Soup

3 Things the people are saying


Finally my Egusi soup is yellow!

Now to some this might seem like a bit of strange statement to make but I know how to make Egusi soup, or at least I thought I did. However today was my 4th attempt and it actually looked {and tasted} like how my mum makes it!

I think the main issue has been using the wrong ingredients, as up until now I have been making it without Palm Oil. Now I’ve never been a fan of palm oil and neither is my mum, hence why I have never made soup with it. {Mum makes her own version of palm oil!}. The thing about palm oil, is that if you get a poor quality brand it can really affect the taste of the food and also leave quite a nasty waxy after taste. So up until now I have avoided even purchasing it, as I wasn’t even sure what sort to buy.

In its place I have substituted chopped tomato in oil, tomato puree in oil. But each time whilst the taste isn’t bad per se, it looked very red and tasted very tomato-like. In my naivety I thought the yellow colour you see above was down to the egusi, when in fact it’s the palm oil. On one occasion I wasted an awful lot of egusi trying to make my chopped tomato/puree concoction yellow!

Over the new year holiday I was introduced to a brand of Palm Oil by my Aunt.

Entering Golden Sun Nigerian Palm Oil…


I used this today and the results are as above! Really pleased with the texture and consistency of the oil as well as how the soup turned out and tasted.

For those who wish to recreate the delicious Egusi Soup, I have included a recipe below. Please note that my recipe is approximated as I don’t ever measure what I use {except the very first time} and make every soup from sight and taste – your mother will tell you the same! But it should give you an idea.

Ingredients used:

  • Large pieces of Meat/Chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 2 Garlic gloves
  • 4 maggie cubes
  • 25g Crayfish ground
  • 50g Egusi ground
  • 100ml water
  • 125ml palm oil
  • Spinach - chopped

1. In a pot boil the meat {mutton, beef, chicken} until slightly tender. Spice with a little salt.

2. In a blender, mix together with the water the onion, garlic, maggie cubes, crayfish and egusi. My egusi and crayfish were already ground, but I preferred to mix it all in with the other ingredients.

3. In a separate pot heat around 125ml of palm oil. Add to it the mixture from step 2 and keep stirring. At this point you will start to see the mixture turn from the red/orange palm oil colour, to a more yellow colour.

4. Pour in the almost cooked meat, along with the water that it was cooking in {nice stock!} and add any extra spices. I added pepper, thyme, chilli powder and salt. What spices you include is really your own personal taste.

5. Leave to cook for around 20 mins or so, adding water if you feel it is too thick. The overall consistency shouldn’t be too watery.

5. Add spinach and leave to simmer for a final 5-10 mins. You don’t want to overcook the spinach otherwise it loses all its goodness.

6. Serve with Pounded Yam, Semolina, Gari


If you have any tips or methods to improve this recipe, please let me know in comments. Happy to try and feed back.

Hair today…

0 Things the people are saying

Yesterday, I got myself some braids and quite honestly I don’t why I didn’t do it sooner!

Three hair packets of hair extensions, one plate of jollof rice, and 6 hours of dedicate braiding {from my lovely new hairdresser/friend} later I emerged with my new locks. My hair has been in relaxer for the best part of 18 months and definitely needed a break.

Really like it, although I now have ‘big hair’ which I am getting used to. Very much looking forward to the extra 15 mins I can now reclaim back in the morning!

Braided sisters - any tips on braid hair care, especially curly extensions? It has been a while!

Living wisely

0 Things the people are saying
So often I do unwise things with a complete disregard for the future.

Like that extra snickers, I want it NOW, so I have it now but don't think about that time sometime in the future when my clothes won't fit and then I hate myself for it, wishing I never had it. Or the time when I was at university, I opened three student bank accounts to get the free gifts and ended up having three overdrafts, two of which I am still paying back today in some way or another {'fun' at the time - but so stupid when I think about it now. Don't do it!}

Psalm 90:12 tells us to use our time wisely as life is short. Yes we may live to 70/80, we may even live to over 100 but that it nothing compared to eternity. Wisdom helps us to number our days.

Remember back in school when you sat your exams. Your teacher would always tell you to use your time wisely. Meaning don't lose focus, get distracted or spend too long on certain questions, but spend the most time on the things that matter.

I can waste so much time on things that don't matter, petty things like worrying about what others think, materialism, stressing about things I can't change etc. When I should be focusing on the here and now and what I can do to make an impact TODAY.

Lord, help me to make every day count. Let me live it, like it's my last and to make use of every moment I have.

Help me to live wisely.

What poor choices have you made in life, that on reflection you wish you hadn't?

‘The List’ – You know you have one!

8 Things the people are saying
Kemi from Till My Dying day, wrote a post about 'The "Husband" list'. Every girl has her ‘list’. You know the one, the one you pray to God about before you meet that special someone.

I was looking through an old journal of mine and found ‘my list’.

Oh how I laughed. We girls don’t ask for much do we!

But God is faithful. God also knows us and knows what we need. He then proceeds to bless us with a person who will compliment us, support us, love us, just as HE loves us. If we trust Him and let Him do His thing.

I remember at the time of creating the list, God saying to me 'well that's all good and great, but what about you. You want all these things, but what have you got to offer my son?'. That challenged me and was the start of the change. The change in mindset, the change in thinking, the change in behaviour. I needed to stop 'looking' and just get on with my life. In His own time, God would bring the right man to me. Also if I want to attract the best husband, I need to become the best wife material.

Kemi talks about this in her post. If you want someone who is close to God, you yourself need to be close to God. If you want someone who has good family values, you too need to exhort those values yourself. 'And it's not changing yourself to suit any man, no, but more of finding out more about yourself, and then becoming a better version of you'. 

So for me, one of the main areas of development aside from improving my daily walk with God, was the need to be able to trust others and not depend on myself for everything. I am a very independent person who often thinks, 'yeh whatever I don't need any help'. At that time I thought my life was set; career, house, car, all waiting for a man to slot into the space I had created for him. I had a blueprint for my life and I expected everything {including a man} to better fall in line, or else!

But God rebuke me. 'No. It can't be like that. You can't be the leader in everything, that is not what I have called you to. You need to learn to trust others, work alongside them, support them. Open up your life, open up your heart'. 

'Unless a Lord builds a house, the labourers work in vain' Psalm 127:1

It was at this point when I made the decision to stop being a passenger in life. I looked at my life and start to make changes. I also got involved more in my church and began to serve.

God also challenged me in the area of selfishness and giving. It's easy to call yourself a Christian, but if your actions don't reflect that, you are a poor witness. This is where I would say I have experienced the biggest growth. It hasn't been easy but I'm grateful for the journey God is taking me on, because ultimately it is for his glory.

I have also familiarised myself with my kitchen learning to love the art of cooking and learning to be a home maker. That has surprised me the most as people who know me from back in the day, know that the most I ever did in my kitchen was go to the fridge and leave!

Fast forward and God has blessed me with a wonderful man in Mr E. It is also wonderful to see how He has fulfilled everything on that list.

When Mr E and I met, I knew he was a nice guy, but I liked him more as a friend. As I got to know him and know his personality, I remember telling my mum, 'yeh, he'll make a great husband for some lucky girl'. Little did I know that the lucky girl would me!

21.10.07 My List
1. Man of God, loves Him, Serves Him and has Him number one in his life
2. Family values
3. Professional and hardworking
4. Good dresser
5. Funny
6. Tall {than me}
7. Good with finances
8. Respectful
9. Patient
10. Loving, caring and honourable
11. Willing to try new things
12. Confident without arrogance
13. Attractive to me {but doesn’t know it!}
14. Driven and ambitious
15. A man of integrity
16. Good leader

Resolutions for the soul

2 Things the people are saying

Following on from yesterday's post on my 2010 goals, I came across this by Natalie Horne on Phenomenally Made about soul resolutions. Sometimes it's so easy to make resolutions for everything else in life and forget about the thing that should be centre to everything we do. Have a read and let me know what you think.

* I resolve to honour God with all of my heart, all of my soul, and all of my mind.

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:36-37)

* I resolve that my physical appearance will not determine my worth or my value.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. (1 Peter 3:3-5)

* I resolve to invest in relationships with others above pursuing my own selfish desires.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

* I resolve to maintain an eternal perspective with my time and my money, and to act accordingly.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also….So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:19-34)

* I resolve to glorify God through the suffering and hardships in my life – past, present and future.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

* I resolve to be a steward of God’s gifts, and recognize that I own nothing of my own.

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. (Psalm 24:1-2)

* I resolve to live and move and have my being rooted in Him.

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.’For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:24-28)

* I resolve to pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)

* I resolve to point others to Christ.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

So how am I doing? {Goals - January}

4 Things the people are saying
So we're well into January and I thought I would give you all an update on my 2010 goals.

Generally life is very busy right now, especially at work. I'm finding that I'm really tired all the time, so secretly, deep down I hope things will start to settle soon. But hey let's not complain eh!

Some positives...
- I registered for my third module {out of four} of my professional qualifications. I've decided to do distance learning and will start the module in March. It felt good to book that today. Looking forward to starting it.

- I have my 'audition' tomorrow to join the worship team at church. Having been wanting to sort this out for ages and finally managed to speak to the main guy on Sunday about auditioning, so that will be tomorrow.

- I found out one of my old friends who I used to work with has had a baby daughter {is it me or is EVERYONE either pregnant or having babies!}. Really happy for him, can't actually believe he is a dad now! Everyone is growing up!

- It's pay day this week! Woohoo! Start my savings plan!

Some negatives...
- I'm so behind on my Bible in 90 days reading. I should be in Judges somewhere and I'm just finishing Exodus, which by my count is 7 days worth of reading.  The first week went kinda okay and then I missed a day, which turned in another day, which before I knew it was a week. Then each day it has gotten harder to catch up. Also I'm finding that doing it last thing at night, is not the best time, as many a nights I have fallen asleep mid verse!

I'm off work next week for a couple of days, so I'm hoping to spend some time and catch up properly. Following that I plan to do my reading before going on the internet/blogging etc which should motivate me and help me make the time to do it every day.

One thing I will say is that the chapters I have read, I have really enjoyed. It's amazing how a story you think you know so well, can appear much differently when you read it again, with a different mindset. I'm trying not to read it too much like a story book, but really hopefully take it in and allow God to speak to me through His words.

- I didn't lose any weight this week, in fact I put weight on. Totally rubbish! But if I showed you my food diary, you wouldn't have much sympathy! Deep down I really do want to do it, but in the midst of pressure at work, tiredness and most probably lazyness I end up making unhealthy choices. Every morning when I look at all the clothes I could be wearing but can't fit into, I am reminded of this fact.

Losing weight is one of those things that you want to see immediate results but in reality it takes time and I guess I'm just impatient! However one thing I do know from losing weight in the past is that once it starts to drop off, it becomes addictive and you want to stay on track. I just need to get to that point!

How's everyone getting on with their goals for 2010.?

Purple Vision

7 Things the people are saying
How gorgeous is this inspiration board!

That dress! Stun-n-ing!
My wedding colour is purple and my plan is to have it as the main colour, with others colours playing a supporting role as accents. However I have quickly discovered that purple has such a shade range and one person's purple is another person's lilac!

Any other purple brides?

picture credit - {Simply Dazzling Events}

Happy Monday!

3 Things the people are saying
Good morning all! Hope all is well.

Do you ever have those moments when you meet someone new and you start chatting. You don't know them. They don't you. You don't know their history. They don't know yours. They start sharing. You're surprised by their openness. They give you pearls of wisdom. The advice couldn't have come at a better time. You realise that you have just had a divine appointment.

That is what happened yesterday at church with Mr E and I. This guy who we had never met before started talking to us after church. He shared with us about how he was divorced and wished it wasn't so. He wanted to fix things, but his ex-wife had now got remarried and all hopes of reconciliation appeared to be gone. We could tell he was still hurting from the situation, but through his experience he wanted to impart some wisdom to us, so that we didn't make the same mistakes. We were both really touched by his openness with us.

'Always communicate. Talk about anything. Talk about everything. If something irritates you, talk about it. Otherwise, like an open wound it will grow into something bigger and turn ugly. If you can't sort out the issue, seek help. This is where we let ourselves down. We both were not willing to resolve the issues'.

'Money is one of the biggest causes of arguments for couples. If you're in debt, get out of it. If you're not, don't get in to it. If you're given the opportunity to purchase something on credit, just walk away from it, if you can't afford to pay for it right there and then. Debt just makes life harder, especially when the kids come as you spend your time wondering each month, whether you're gonna make it. Trust me I know'.

Both were timely reminders.

This week on 'From Now Till I Do' {upcoming posts}....

- Living Wisely
- The role of a husband {and wife}
- The list
- In My Kitchen

Have a blessed week!


Currently reading: ‘God’s Trophy Women’

0 Things the people are saying
As you know I love reading and tend to flit between different types of non-fiction, whether they be about relationships, career, God or personal development, etc.

On the personal development/building my faith side, I am currently reading God’s Trophy Women by Jacqueline Jakes {TD Jakes sister}, kindly borrowed from Mr E’s cousin over the holidays.

In the book she encourages us as women to use our struggles to become "trophy" women—"women of extraordinary substance who possess huge value and distinction." The very troubles that threaten to crush us are instead God's way of making us shine.

I’ve just started it, but so far so good. I will review it properly when I’m done.
God's trophy women
Over to the right {all you RSS subscribers, you’re gonna have to hop over to the site for this one!}, you will notice that I have started a ‘Books that Inspire’ list.

These are books I have read over the years which have really blessed and inspired me. Some you may recognise, others you may not, but if you’re looking for some good reading, I highly recommend them all.

Likewise, caring is sharing and if you happen to have read a really good relationship/marriage/self development book lately and want to let others know about it, please leave the information in the comments below.

Gracias! Happy Reading!


2 Things the people are saying

{DVN spa by Dennis Wong}

So it's a new year and I'm trying to save money.

One of my cutbacks will be spa visits. I don't go all the time, maybe every other month or so, but I had to make a choice between going to the hairdresser or going to a salon. Hairdresser was the clear winner.

So now I'm trying to figure out what stuff I need to get to do my treatments at home e.g. manicure, pedicure etc.

Do you have any recommendations for products that you use that work well and any home diy tips to share?

p.s. Have been using the Bobbi Brown Face Oil for just under a month now. Totally love it and haven't broken out at all. My previously dry and patchy skin is responding well to it. For those of you worried about how it sits under foundation, it also works fine, you just need to let it settle into the skin first. 

Getting Married 101 {UK edition} - Part One

3 Things the people are saying

Before I got engaged my knowledge of the pre-wedding process i.e. all the stuff you need to do before you can get legally wed was pretty limited. I assumed {pretty naively} that you just decided where you wanted to get married and you just got married there! Fast forward to January 09 and I soon realised that there is slightly more stuff you need to do.

As we're both Christians a church wedding was a no brainer for us, however because my home church doesn’t have it’s own building I always knew that we would have to find a different venue to get married in. In the UK, the type of church you use, will determine the process you go through pre-wedding.

Option 1 - Church of England {Anglican church}

Option 2 – A.N.Other Denomination church

Originally we chose to get married in the Church of England because we didn't fancy the hassle of applying to the Home Office for a Certificate of Approval, which is a document you need if you wish to get married in the UK {outside of the CofE} and don't have 'settled' status. Whilst a COA gives you more options of where you can get married, it was another paper filling exercise requiring the sending off of our passports, which at the time we didn’t want the hassle of.

CofE churches traditionally tend to be very beautiful, however they have strict rules on which of their churches you can actually get married in. Fundamentally you need to live in the parish of that church or have a qualifying connection to the church. We found this to be one of the most frustrating things we faced during the CofE, church search as the churches in the parishes where Mr E and I lived, were both really small. I remember finding a fantastic church near to our proposed reception venue, decent size as well but when we enquired, we were told point blank no {and not in a polite way as well!}.

The biggest CofE church in Manchester is the Cathedral and I thought great, lets find out about getting married there, but they were no different. ‘You don’t live in the parish, you haven’t been attending for 6 months or more, you’re not on the electoral register of the church, no qualifying connection’ - blah blah blah. In the end we both agreed that it wasn't meant to be and said goodbye to the cathedral dream. The whole thing was starting to get a little too bureaucratic for my liking!

After a couple of weeks of further research and visits, we settled on a church in my parent's parish, still relatively large in size {400 capacity} AND beautiful inside and out. Very traditional!




It doesn’t look it, but it can actually fit 400 people! My camera doesn’t do the place justice.


The process to get married there seem pretty straightforward. The lady in the church office was so lovely, answering all our questions, giving us advice on things. We completed our details, paid our deposit and were advised that we would have formal meeting with the Reverend 8-12 weeks before to talk through the day. Also three Sundays before we would get married, they would read out our banns. Good stuff – sounded pretty straight forward!

In the meantime we were told that we would also need to apply for a Bishop’s licence {permission to get married in the CofE if one or both is non-EU} which would be issued within a week and is valid for 3 months. This seemed simple enough or so we thought…

More info

Getting married in the Church of England - very comprehensive site giving you all the info you need to plan your day and what you need to do before hand

31 Days of Prayer for your man!

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I know the month is almost halfway through, but a friend sent me this today and I really wanted to share it with you all.

Each day in the month of January, pray for your man wherever or whomever he might be. You do not have to be married or in a relationship to take this challenge; if you believe that there is a man out there for you, pray for him.


Day 1
Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord. Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines—Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, etc. (2 Peter 3:18; Prov. 4:23)

Day 2
Pray that your husband’s relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in his life. Pray that he will be a man of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord. (Prov. 3:7, 9:10; Ps. 112:1)

Day 3
Pray that your husband will be humble and quick to agree with God about his sin. Pray that his heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord. (Ps. 51:2-4; Micah 6:8)

Day 4
Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship—protecting and providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will be glorified in your marriage. (Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:19)

Day 5
Pray that your husband will be faithful to his wedding vows. Pray that he will have a desire to cultivate your relationship as a sign of his loyalty and commitment to you, and as a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. (Prov. 20:6; Gen. 2:24)

Day 6
Pray that your husband will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that he will recognize and avoid wickedness in his own life, and if necessary, take a clear, strong stand against evil. (Prov. 27:12; John 17:15; 1 Cor. 10:12-13)

Day 7
Pray that your husband will safeguard his heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. Pray that his heart will be pure and undivided in his commitment to you. (Prov. 6:23-24, 26; Rom. 13:14)

Day 8
Pray that your husband will work hard to provide for your family, to the best of his ability. Pray that the character qualities necessary for a successful career and ministry will be a growing part of his character—persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, positive relationships with people, determination, etc. (Rom. 12:11; 1 Cor. 15:58)

Day 9
Pray that your husband handle finances wisely, will have discernment concerning budgeting and investments, and will be a good steward of his money in regard to giving to the Lord’s work. Pray that money will not become a source of discord in your family. (Prov. 23:4-5; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:5)

Day 10
Pray that your husband will cultivate strong integrity, and not compromise his convictions. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, that he will be honest in his business dealings, and will never do anything that he needs to hide from others. (Prov. 20:7; 1 Tim. 1:5, 3:7; Eph. 6:10-12)

Day 11
Pray that your husband will have a humble, teachable spirit and a servant’s heart before the Lord. Pray that he will listen to God and desire to do His will. (Prov. 15:33; Eph. 6:6)

Day 12
Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord and practice self control. Pray that your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, and a reflection of selfless love. (Prov. 5:15, 18; 1 Cor. 7:3; Song of Solomon 7:10)

Day 13
Pray that your husband use practical skills to build your family and make wise decisions for your welfare. Pray that he will serve unselfishly. (Gal. 5:13; Phil. 2:3-4)

Day 14
Pray that your husband will speak words that build you and your family, and reflect a heart of love. Pray that he will not use filthy language. (Prov. 18:21; Eph. 4:29)

Day 15
Pray that your husband will choose his friends wisely. Pray that God will bring him men who will encourage his accountability before God, and will not lead him into sin. (Prov. 13:20; Prov. 27:17)

Day 16
Pray that your husband will choose healthy, God-honoring activities. Pray that he will not live in bondage to any questionable habits or hobbies, but that he will experience freedom in holiness as he yields to the Spirit’s control. (1 Cor. 6:12, 10:31; 2 Tim. 2:4)

Day 17
Pray that your husband will enjoy his manliness as he patterns his life after Christ and strong men in the faith. Pray for his physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual strength. (Eph. 3:16; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Cor. 10:11)

Day 18
Pray that your husband will have an eternal perspective—living in light of eternity. Pray that he will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in his life. (Matt. 6:33; Deut. 6:5; Eph. 5:16; Ps. 90:12)

Day 19
Pray that your husband will be patient and a man of peace. Pray that he will not give in to anger, but will allow the Holy Spirit to control his responses. (Rom. 14:19; Ps. 34:14)

Day 20
Pray that your husband will yield his mind and thoughts to the Lord. Pray that he will not entertain immoral or impure thoughts, and that he will resist the temptation to indulge in pornography. (Prov. 27:12; 2 Cor. 10:5)

Day 21
Pray that your husband will learn how to relax in the Lord and, in his greatest times of stress, find joy and peace in his relationship with God. Pray that he will submit his schedule to the Lord. (Neh. 8:10; Prov. 17:22; Ps. 16:11)

Day 22
Pray that your husband will practice forgiveness in your relationship and with others. Pray that he will recognize any roots of bitterness, and yield any resentment and unforgiving attitudes to the Lord. (Eph. 4:32; Heb. 12:15)

Day 23
Pray that your husband will be a good father—disciplining his children wisely and loving them unconditionally. If he is not a father, pray that he will find a young man to mentor in the things of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2:1-2)

Day 24
Pray that your husband will have a balanced life—that he will balance work and play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work and church. (Luke 2:52; Prov. 13:15)

Day 25
Pray that your husband will be courageous in his stand against evil and injustice, and that he will stand for the truth. Pray that he will protect you and your family from Satan’s attacks. (Ps. 31:24; Eph. 6:13; Ps. 27:14)

Day 26
Pray that your husband will discover and live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity. (Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 10:31)

Day 27
Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body—the temple of the Holy Spirit—for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 9:27)

Day 28
Pray that your husband will be a man of prayer. Pray that he will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times. (1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 22:46; James 5:16)

Day 29
Pray that your husband will surrender his time and talents to the Lord. Pray that his spiritual gifts will be manifest in his career, at church, and in your home. (Eph. 5:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:4, 7)

Day 30
Pray that your husband will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that he will obey the Lord from his heart, and glorify Him in everything. (1 Cor. 10:13; John 7:17-18; Col. 3:23-24)

Day 31
Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. (John 8:44; 2 Cor. 10:4-5)

Kindly reproduced from www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Carpe Diem!

3 Things the people are saying
In The End We Only Regret The Chances We Didn't Take.

The Relationships We Were Scared To Have And The Decisions We Waited Too Long To Make.

There Comes A Time In Your Life When You Realise Who Matters, Who Doesn't, Who Never Did And Who Always Will. 

So Don't Worry About The People From Your Past There's A Reason They Didn't Make It To Your Future.


One Year Off

4 Things the people are saying

In his article, First Year Off, Jonathan Dodson extends the law in Deuteronomy 24:5 that allowed Israelite men not to be sent to war during their first year of marriage to a more general principle of a taking a year off from other responsibilities to "to be happy with his wife".

He talks of being careful not to over-commit to work, church or other people when the focus should be developing and deepening the relationship with your spouse.

For a girl who is involved in lots of extra-curricular activities, this I am liking.

I am liking a lot.

Where do I sign?

There are 3 people in this relationship

4 Things the people are saying


As Christians when it comes to relationships, our relationship with God matters first and foremost. But what about my husband, what about my fiancé, you ask?

Well the great thing is, the closer we become to God individually, the closer we become to each other. Conversely the further away we go from God, the further away we are from each other.

Since my home life will be a function of my walk with God, I want to make sure my walk with God is on point and give it number one priority.

After all ‘a wise woman builds her house’ Proverbs 14:1.

Picture {source}

Ingredients for a Happy New Year

0 Things the people are saying

As promised here is a summary of the teaching from the New Years Eve event I went to. As I was making notes on my blackberry, a lot of it is in shorthand but I have tried to pad out to make coherent sentences!


Ingredients for a Happy New Year:

Things that will remain the same in 2010:

  • The bible will still have the answer
  • Prayer still works
  • Holy Spirit will still be moving
  • God will still inhabit the praises of his people
  • Jesus still loves you
  • Jesus is still be in the business of saving people and blessing their life

1. Establish a cause, reason, purpose to pursue in the new year.

Why? Otherwise you will have nothing to live for. Having a dream will keep you keeping on, help bring focus to your life, define where you are now and where you are going. Without cause, you’re just a rolling stone making no impact. Boredom = absence of vision

Be aware of having vague goals as they have no impact. You need to have goals which are specific. Write them down and pursue them. Also be aware of unworthy goals. Failure = succeeding at the wrong thing. Find a cause that honours God and will make him proud.

Top ten vision? Where am I going in 2010? Where will I be? Are the things I'm living for, worth dying for?

2. Examine your situation.

Check out where you are now. What issues are you facing? Don't run away from them. You must know the steps you are taking in order to know your mission. Take inventory of your life. Don't run away! Remember that Jesus is the answer! Know what stands between you and the thing you want to achieve. They should be your prayer points.

Clarify the road block. What's between you and the breakthrough of the Lord and the situation you desire? Doors of opportunity swing on the hinges of opposition. God is about to make a way for you. Also know that your value is revealed in the problem that you solve. Facing big challenges? Inside you there is an ability for big blessings and big breakthrough. Make sure you develop a plan as there is nothing wrong with having a clearly defined plan for your life. No plan, no measure of progress. Salvation was planned. God is a master planner.

3. Strengthen your confidence.

Race is not for the swift. Take advantage when God gives you the time. We have our confidence is Christ. Phil 4:13
Can we achieve our vision in 2010?  Yes we can.
In Jesus I am a superstar. I am blessed. Strengthen your confidence with the promises of God.
If God be for us, who can be against us..
Continue with prayer.  Pray more - your battles will be your blessings.
Pray in the Holy Ghost. You by-pass logic.
Jude 1:20 - ‘build up yourself’.
If there is an issue, find time every week to pray for one hour on that matter. Solutions/breakthrough will follow you.

4. Enforce a new lifestyle.

Start a new lifestyle. Listen to the voice of the Lord. Have a discipline to your life. If you don't want business as usual, you have to do something unusual.
Allow lifestyle of God to underwrite your life. Discipline your appetite. Discipline your time. Do not waste time in 2010. Let it qualify and bless your life.
If there are areas in your life that need changing, deal with it now - Find it, face it, finish it!

5. Enlist vision helpers.

These are people who will walk the valley with you. Stand with you. Make your journey worth the while and help you make your dream a reality.
Who is in your boat? The people in your boat can wreck your life or help your life. Who have you surrounded yourself with? Can they rebuke you?  Check the names on your phone. Some need to be deleted.

Two is better than one. You stand alone you can be easily destroyed.
Who are your friends? Are they going in your direction? Take a look around at those who are prosperous, they know and invest in others. Those who have learnt to work with others, have learnt to delegate. They succeed in marriage, business, life. When God calls you to a task bigger than you, he surrounds with people who can help you. Find that person in your life.

By Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo {KICC 31.12.09}

Happy Monday!

2 Things the people are saying
Good morning Readers!

Hope you're all good and had a great weekend. I know I did. Can you believe we're already through week one of 2010 already! How are your resolutions shaping up?

Did my first bit of entertaining on Saturday which was fun. Made a version of fried rice and chicken which Mr E's Aunt taught me over the New Year holidays. Was really pleased with how it turned out - I will try and get the 'recipe' up soon. I say 'recipe' as I didn't really follow specific instructions per se, more of tips she gave.

This week I have some great posts coming up, be sure to check them out:

- Ingredients for a Happy New Year
- There are three people in this relationship
- One year off
- Wedding planning update
- New Year: New Me update

Have a great week all!


Verse of the year

3 Things the people are saying

Last year the verse that summed up my year was Jeremiah 29:11-12. I never formalised it as ‘verse of the year’ but throughout 2009 it was the verse that I held on to and God used this verse to constantly remind and encourage by telling us, ‘

‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.’


For 2010 my verse of choice is Genesis 18:14

‘Is anything too hard for the Lord'?’

Many a times we don’t ask God for things because deep down we don’t believe He can do. But like with Sarah in Genesis, where God gave her a baby in old age, God can can do anything, even the impossible.

So this year I will be bold in my prayers and seek God for things that humanly seem impossible and have faith that He will do it. Now obviously He won’t give me everything I ask for, because not everything we ask for is in accordance to His will or the timing is not quite right, but all the same I will still ask.

I keep a testimony book and very similar to a gratitude journal, I document all miracles and blessings God does for me. I started it last year and on 31st Dec, it was nice to read back and remember all the things God did in 2009, because lets be honest, sometimes we forget.

This year, I will continue to do so and also share with you some of the great things God is doing in my life.

* THANKFUL - thank you God for your protection and journey mercies as I have been driving around in the snow and ice. Thank you that I have not had any accidents or car trouble!

The real voice of the blogger

3 Things the people are saying
I came across this post yesterday by Stie, which got me thinking about blogging in general and how much of myself I reveal to the online world. The writer was reflecting on a post she read by Travellin’ Oma, which talked about ‘assessing whether the posts we write are real reflections of our true selves or if they are merely the best of us put on display’. I would definitely agree that blogging is an opportunity to put your best foot forward and reveal the you that you wish the world to see. I admire bloggers like Jenna and Alexandra who are very real, always, warts and all.

As I mention in my About me page, I blog openly and honestly about things I talk about, but of course there are things that one doesn’t talk about here. Like the wedding postponement for example and why 4 months on, we still haven't announced a new date for the wedding. Not because we haven’t wanted to do, but because there are personal things going on ‘behind-the-scenes’, which are just not appropriate to share right now and prevent us doing so. This has been hard to deal with, I won’t lie.

Blogging is something I enjoy a lot and I love to write freely, but there are times when it can be incredibly stressful, as there are things going on in life which I want to share but don’t for fear of offending or upsetting certain people. I guess there is a fine line between airing your dirty laundry and sharing real raw stories about your personal life and it’s about striking the balance. I’m not sure if this is a sign of weakness {worrying about what others think} or me just being respectful to certain individuals and not wanting to rock the boat.

Some days I’m not sure.

Just before Christmas I thought about taking the blog offline and making it private, thus still allowing me to have the outlet to talk about all issues but to myself, but then I thought isn’t that what diaries are for? This place isn’t a place to moan and cuss others, but a place of love where I share my thoughts and experiences on my road to marriage. Something I will continue to do.

If you don’t see any posts on wedding detail stuff, it’s because presently I’m not doing much ‘wedding’ stuff per se, however I hope this will change in the coming weeks. As time moves on and I’m given ‘permission’ to share certain things I will do and hopefully that will help give you a clearer picture on things. In the meantime, I will continue posting as per usual on topics that are relationship, marriage and life based. Hope you don’t mind!

Thanks for all your love and support.


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

3 Things the people are saying

{taken from outside my window at work}

England is currently experiencing the worst snow for over 20 years. Where my parents live they have over 8 inches of snow! I for one have never seen snow like that. Where I am it's not too bad, but still the journey home last night was taken with caution and care, as the main roads are fine, but the side roads not so.

Some people are 'fortunate' enough to be snowed-in at the moment, again my parents and siblings being in that camp and it's just amazing when you think about what snow is...tiny snowflakes. But these tiny snowflakes compact and come together, closing schools, airports, blocking roads and stopping people from going to work.

It got me thinking, in life there are times when you need people to stand with you, you need people to support you, you can't do things on your own. It's the same with marriage and planning the wedding. I can try to do it all on my own, but there are people around me who have been placed there to help, support and give guidance. It's my choice whether I want to grasp that opportunity. As they say, 'two heads are better than one', right!

Snow is just a single snowflake but look at the power it has when it comes together with others.

Goals, Smoals

3 Things the people are saying
This year I thought about the things I wanted to achieve in my life for 2010, the things that would make me happy, the things that would help me to grow and I came up with this:

1. Read the Bible in 90 days. I've never read the bible cover to cover and relish this challenge. I started this yesterday and so far I'm enjoying it, but it is intense!

2. Learn a new cooking dish every month. I'm loving the cooking vibe right now, and any chance given to learn something new, I jump at it. I made a cake for both my family at Christmas and my in-laws at New Years. Something I would never have done a year ago and positive responses were received all round! I will be increasing my repertoire in 2010.
You can following my cooking escapades by clicking the 'In My Kitchen' link at the top.

3. Reconnect with my fellow man. I've cancelled my Twitter and deactivated my Facebook. I want to connect with people how we did it in the old days. If you want to speak to me, please pick up the phone, don't write on my wall or poke me. It's just not the same. Likewise I will reciprocate {calling that is}.

4. Lose weight. An old classic! I have broken this down into smaller stages and the first goal is to lose 10% of my current body weight. I am doing the 10in10 challenge where you make healthy lifestyle changes in order to achieve a goal in 10 weeks. I'm really determine on this one, as there is a wedding dress hanging in my house that WILL fit on my big day, plus a load of clothes in my wardrobe which are currently jobless.
You can track my weight loss journey here.

5. Save for Christmas throughout the year. By putting money aside each month, it will eliminate the annual surprise that is 'oh wow its December already, where did my paycheck go'.

6. Remember all the birthdays and anniversaries of all those people who are important to me and ensure that I send a card and give them a call at the very least. I do this for my family anyway but sometimes with friends I slack. This year my dear friends, I will remember your special day and will acknowledge it accordingly!

7. Become more active in my church and join the choir. Miss my singing days so will get back into it.

8. Complete my professional qualifications. I'm doing a Diploma in Corporate Banking and I'm halfway through. God willing I should be done by the year end.

Alongside all of this I want to get married and be a good, GREAT wife to Mr E. I want our wedding to be meaningful and only incorporate the things that are important.

So my fellow readers, please hold me accountable. Ask me how I'm getting on, check on me and give feedback. My commitment to you is to provide updates where I can and monthly summaries to see how I'm getting on.

Have you set your goals for 2010 yet?

Well hello 2010, how do you do?

3 Things the people are saying

Happy New Year, 2010 is finally here! Wishing you and your families a blessed year ahead.

I'm truly grateful to God for bringing me through 2009 and it's good to finally be able to close the door on a really eventful year. I thought about doing a recap post but to be honest, as much as I like to reflect, it really is all about moving forward.

2009 as you know also marked the end of the decade and the past ten years have been full of many firsts and achievements. I finished high school, learnt to drive, travelled Europe, lived in the USA for a summer, went to university, graduated from university, got my first proper job, bought a house and best of all - got engaged to Mr E.

I will always remember this decade as the one that shaped the person I am today. She taught me many lessons and we have laughed and cried together.

I'm really looking forward to the next ten years! I'm going to be a wife, start a family and begin to fulfil all the things God has destined for my life.

New Years Eve this year was fab! Mr E and I went to the KICC watch night service and it was immense being surrounded by 10,000 people as we thanked God for 2009 and got ready to welcome in 2010. The KICC mass choir were amazing and Pastor Matthew preached a sermon on 'How to have a Happy New Year' which I will share with you soon. And to top it all off, Kirk Franklin came and performed, which was fan-tas-tic!

What an awesome way to see in the New Year. Hope you all had fun nights too!

Goals wise I have a number of things I want to achieve this year, ranging across family, to work, to ministry. Things which if I can do will not only be great for personal achievement but for life in general.

'If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves'. ~ Edison

So, 2010 welcome - you're going to be a great year. I know it.

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