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Heart of the House

Musings from the CEO’s Desk

Choices and Consequences

Our lives are the sum of our choices, a result of the decisions we’ve made in every area – relationships, finances, work and how we spend our time. Even when you don’t choose, you’re making a choice. The unchanging principle of sowing and reaping – choices and consequences – is one that should guide every decision we make, because a harvest will eventually result from whatever action we take.

It’s relatively easy to identify and resist the big temptations, but the truth is that the big issues of life usually begin with small choices. Often the most difficult decisions are the small, incremental ones, those that seem harmless enough in the moment. And sometimes the smallest decisions can change our lives forever. I don’t think anyone wakes up and thinks they will settle for less today and see what happens. However, if we are not deliberate about the choices we make, it doesn’t take long for our lives to look less than we hoped for; for compromises to be made and regrets to creep in. We make our choices and our choices will make us. You’ve got to live intentionally and accept the consequences of every deed, thought and word throughout your lifetime. The dreams God places in our hearts can never be accomplished unless we are intentional about good choices that will propel us forward toward those dreams.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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To Heal One Needs to Trust

Some learn early in life to hold their pain deeply – buried underneath layers of self-protection… The only thing that will ever uncover that kind of pain is unqualified commitment, love and acceptance… In this environment, trust has an opportunity to be born, and if trust is born, healing can occur over time – even from the most horrendous experiences. Treading softly in the lives of others is a conscious decision to love. To be kind is to be considerate, and involves a gentleness and understanding of the incredible grace we have had heaped upon us by a loving God. Kindness is a very intentional response to someone’s need. Imagine how different our lives would be if we were kinder to each other; if we showed compassion and indeed, self-compassion. Encouraging people and letting them know you believe in them and that you will journey with them no matter what or how long it takes, empowers them way more than our best intentioned advice. Tread with care in the lives of others.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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We Won’t Reach Everyone, But We Will Reach No One If We Don’t Do Our Part

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer

I love this quote that reminds me of the many people who have helped me out of the darkness, out of hopelessness. It speaks about those who have found me when i had lost my way, and guided me back to the light, rekindling life.
This light isn’t specified, but I believe it applies to the multiple aspects of ourselves – From beliefs to courage, from hope to love, from certainty to faith, we can lose the light. It truly is a dark and dismal place to be…in the dark.
However, this quote reminds me that there were people out there who can and are willing to help. And it implores us to show our gratitude to those who have helped us back on the path and relit our light. And, in having amazing people champion me back time and again when I feel I’ve come to my end?
From my years in the dark as a heroin addict, to a seemingly impossible dream; from believing we were finally living the dream, to having someone do their damndest to destroy it, I’ve ended up in some very dark places with my light almost completely out.
However, each and every time, there have been those who helped me find my way, and to relight my light. They took their own time, investment and belief in me …they have encouraged me to keep moving forward, believing in the dream God planted in my heart. Perhaps you have even been the recipient of this gift in your lifetime. Remember what it felt like to you, and imagine what it would have been like without those who stepped in to help you.

Sometimes, on rare occasions, you can actually help yourself. However, most of the time it takes outside intervention. It may be someone we trust, and sometimes, even a complete stranger.
In any case, this quote urges us to show our gratitude towards those who help us. Take a moment to consider how you have treated those who have “lighted the flame within” for you – those who have helped you come alive again, reignited you to faith and trust.
If we look outside ourselves, and consider what we can do to help others who may have lost their way, those who are without light and are in need. Have you ever seen someone who looked lost inside?
It’s a fairly distinctive look, a person who has lost the spark, or some significant dream or hope – The question is what can we do to help? The simple answer is we can try, we can put forth some effort. But the reality is they too must put some effort in or nothing will come of it.
I admit, in my own life, times I might not have noticed some attempts to help me, as I was unready to receive their gift. So sometimes, our best efforts will be for naught, if they are unready or unwilling.
However, I do not believe that such a possible outcome absolves us of our duty to our fellow humans. That’s like saying you shouldn’t try because you might fail.
Even if all you do is get their attention, and get them thinking about trying to find their light again, you have done a great thing for them. Sometimes, with proper motivation, they can fight their way back. Other times, it leaves them receptive to the next person who tries to help them.
Whether you are the benefactor or beneficiary in this quote, there are most definitely reasons for celebration. Both parties should feel good, and be grateful for having helped, or for having been helped. We won’t be able to reach everyone, but we will reach no one if we don’t at least do our part.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Persevere Through the Seemingly Impossible

The temptation to give up is a common one, and nobody is exempt. For most of us, failure isn’t something we can handle gracefully. And even though we know it’s a common human condition, we’re somehow always surprised when it happens to us. A few famous quotes that I have tacked on my wall remind me that loss of hope is temporary and giving up is not an option in my life:

1. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.”
~Mary Anne Radmacher~

2. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
~Thomas Edison~

3. “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
~Henry Ford~

4. “Ask yourself this question: ‘Will this matter a year from now?'”
~Richard Carlson~ (American psychotherapist and author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff)

5. “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.”
~Dr. Steve Maraboli~

6. “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
~Newt Gingrich~

7. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
~Dale Carnegie~

8. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
~Nelson Mandela~
~Abraham Lincoln~

9. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
~Winston Churchill~

I don’t know about you. But when things seem to be difficult and the dream seems more impossible than it did a year ago, the fact that these well-known people persevered and influenced so many generations encourages me to keep going. We all tend to have short term memory loss when we face struggles. I have learnt to keep journals of God’s faithfulness because they have often been all I have to hold on to when the next hurdle looms. If He said it, He will do it. His timing is simply not the same as my own and as I put my foot forward another step, I know that He will fulfil all that He has said He will. This to me is success – to persevere through the seemingly impossible, only to discover that miracles are waiting within reach.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Don’t Be Swayed By Other People

Give, love, trust and listen but learn to remain your authentic self in the process. Too many will seek to tell you who you are – as if they know? Others will tell you how you should be – as if they know? Know yourself and accept your unique beauty as a person of worth and intrinsic value and fill your life with those who let you be your self.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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