Thorn…

I must confess, this period had been one of the most trying times for me.

I know I admitted that last year was my worst, however, this year does not make my favorite list.

The whole year has been stressful, filled with uncertainties.

So many people I know lost their jobs, my friends lost loved ones, I am experiencing hormonal imbalance etc. Recall I complained about my period going over 10 days? Well, it has been about 18 days now and still on.

I cannot help but think of the things we take for granted.

I have always had an accurate cycle.

Never have I had a reason to complain about it. Going through this now makes me recount the things we indeed take for granted. Like waking up each day, having hands and feet, walking, talking, jumping, laughing, having jobs, money, good health, family, friends and so much more. We truly never know what we have until it’s gone or something different happens.

I am truly humbled by this, never will I take it for granted. I am eager to be healed, longing for my ‘life’ back.

God has indeed been faithful. He is seeing me through it, I am not in pain, I am not irritable, it is here to run its course and leave.

I really believe in the saying ‘in all things give thanks’. It turns around a bad situation into a testimony. What better way to get through trials?

As we end this year, I encourage us all to count our blessings.

It may seem that we do not have all we want yet but I believe we have all we need. Do not let the devil steal your joy. As long as we are alive, there is a hope we cling to that all will end well.

Cheers!

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The Fairytale concept

Lately I have been craving movies I watched as a child. Movies that made me feel good, taught me about love, and made me believe in fairytales.

Last night, I watched ‘The Little Mermaid’ again.

It’s funny how I have seen that movie over a hundred times but did not realize that Ariel was only sixteen when she rebelled against her father and ended up marrying Prince Eric. I repeat she was only sixteen.

I began to wonder, if this could be the reason why I made so many mistakes in my teenage years with an erroneous belief about boys and love. Could animations such as this have given me a wrong perception about love and freedom? A chill went down my spine as I pictured my daughter acting exactly like Ariel at 16 – rebellious. Suddenly I wasn’t so sure I wanted her to watch the movie again.

You see, there are subliminal messages in movies like this and believe it or not they end up affecting the way we perceive life, love and family.

Cartoon network is another pain point for me. The cartoons aired nowadays scare me. I feel if I sit long enough to watch some of them, I’d end up having nightmares.

How do we then protect our children from the messages passed through these shows?

Is there a correlation between them and the increasing violence among children? A number of people in my generation have issues settling down. Could this be a result of the unrealistic fairytales sold to us by Disney? Could the violence age that we are in now be a result of Ben 10 and the likes?

Do not by any chance get me wrong, I am a sucker for cartoons and animations.

Frozen (pt 1) actually doesn’t fall into the false concept of happily ever after category. Anna learnt the hard way, what true love really looks like – imperfect. Elsa learnt that fear if magnified, gains control over us.

Could this then mean that some people are finally trying to pass on the right message to the younger generation?

I hope so.

***

In other news, Christmas is three days away. I still haven’t caught the excitement bug yet but however, I am glad that I am alive to see another beautiful season and an awesome new year ahead!

I am thankful to all my readers, followers and critics. You all have made this year amazing for me.

Cheers!

Hope for today.

It came as a surprise to me when I heard the OAP say its six days to Christmas.

I didn’t even know we are that close to the end of the year. I must confess that this is the first time ever that I am totally oblivious of Christmas.

Could it be that I have outgrown festivities? Or the fact that I have been on my period for over 10 days? Or the downsizing going on at my office? Or my thirst for a better life?

This year really hasn’t been my best, though not my worst (last year was). I have faced a whole lot of disappointments and I’m still struggling to stand on my feet.

I recall when I lost a child some years ago, that felt like the worst year ever but ironically, that year ended up being one of the best years of my life.

So many times, we aren’t aware of the things people go through and we end up envying / judging them for things they seem to have / do.

To be honest, this year has not been all bad. I have so much to be thankful for. Life, health, family, friends, my readers, supporters, mentors and so on.

I have learnt that there is always something to be thankful for no matter what. There is always someone, somewhere out there who has it worse. Does this mean we celebrate those we seem better than? No. however, we acknowledge the fact that we will not receive more than we can handle and bad times won’t last forever.

So many things are going on in our world today. War, poverty, cancer, death and so on, are but a few of the ills happening around us. I cannot help myself, I feel weak at the thought, drained by my emotions, saddened by the headlines.

My hope surely is not on my efforts nor on any humanly based knowledge. My hope is built on Christ. The world needs Him, I need Him. I couldn’t have gotten through so much without Him.

hope

Psalm 3 vs 2-6:

‘So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!” But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy mountain. I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side’.

I am not afraid, neither should you.

Strive for Peace

I consider myself to have a pretty dominant personality.

I am not the type to allow myself be bullied. I sometimes come across as stuck up / uptight or even a bully – (some of my friends told me this over the weekend). I have very strong opinions and believe that I am right most of the time. Sometimes even when I sin, I make rational excuses and try to discuss it with God. I guess God knows me so much as He always wins the arguments.

It takes a lot to be friends with me and even more to be my spouse.

I can be really fussy and petty, oh yes, and very emotional. Little things get to me. When I watch movies, I visualize myself as one of the characters. When I read, I assume one of the roles. I remember when I got to read Toke Makinwa’s book, I couldn’t sleep on the first night. I had a banging headache. The image of the gas explosion and her mom burning kept playing in my head, I came close to experiencing the emotions she portrayed.

I try to be at peace with everyone, I really do not like fights. Fighting for me is weakness. It gives the devil a foothold and exposes everyone’s weaknesses.

In my marriage, I especially do not look forward to fights. My husband and I are both ‘strong headed’ and we often times like to prove who’s right. This doesn’t always go down well. Recently, I have been learning to pray for him even when I am angry. This is really tough. I feel like God is teaching me to humble myself more these days.

I have recently tried apologizing genuinely to anyone I hurt (before, I just apologize for the sake of it), I try to see things from the other person’s perspective and strive for peace. Indeed this is against human nature. I have come to realize that the flesh is self-centered which makes living peacefully with others a really gruesome task.

How then can this be achieved? Ever wondered what life will be like if we all lived in harmony? How many marriages will be saved if only we humbled ourselves?

Allow yourself to be an instrument of peace.

The Wait.

A while ago, I thought I was pregnant.

I had missed my period and I had mixed emotions. I was excited and at the same time really frightened by the thought of being pregnant with my second child. I did a series of home tests which turned out negative but I still was not convinced.

Three weeks after, the anxiety was nerve-wracking.

I had fluttery feelings in my tummy. Certainly, it was too early to feel any movement wasn’t it? I couldn’t think of anything else but my unborn child. I began to wonder what life was going to be like with another child… Was my daughter going to be a good big sister? Was I going to love my new born more? Was my husband ready to father another child? Was I finally going to get a live-in nanny? It was a whirlwind of emotions. I gained some weight in the fourth week, which was when I made up my mind to go do a blood test.

I did not get a chance to go in for a blood test until the sixth week. Surely this was a done deal. I had even started having the usual first trimester symptoms. I waited for an hour for my results. Within that hour, I had thought of possible names for my baby, planned how to dress him or her. If I have another girl, I’d just use my daughter’s clothes, if I have a boy, I’d have to shop afresh. I already pictured the redesigning of the children’s room. Definitely my daughter would have to move back to her room to allow her younger brother or sister time to bond with us. I pictured a beautiful small round face, a perfect combination of my husband and I. I could just imagine that small beautiful face having the same dimple as my daughter…and husband. The euphoria was amazing.

This didn’t last too long as the doctor called me in to read my result.

It was a really brief feedback, Negative. I am not sure if I smiled, I can’t recall if my disappointment showed. I saw myself out of the hospital, downcast. All my dreams had ended up being just dreams, at least for now. I tried to console myself.

Moving on, even weeks after was not as easy as I expected. The fact that I was still waiting to see my period didn’t help matters. I began to imagine myself as one of those women who didn’t know they were pregnant until the day they gave birth, who says that can’t be my story? I woke up thinking about it and went to sleep dreaming about it. It occupied my thoughts. I became really cranky. I figured my husband did not understand the pressure I felt because he is a man, surely a woman would understand better.

It took me a while to ‘reset’ my brain. I had to snap out of it. I had to learn to appreciate what I have and live in the present even in anticipation of the future. God has blessed me with a beautiful family, there was no reason why I shouldn’t enjoy the phase I am in even if I want more.

Waiting, I realized is not easy. Sometimes we get so caught up in it, we forget to live. We believe the lie that no one gets it, we forget that our partners too feel it. Even though, we aren’t in control of the situation around us, we are in control of what goes on within us.

The anxiety of looking forward to a marriage, child, job, business, etc robs us of the joy of living and enjoying the present. Often times, we may find out that we aren’t even ready for that new phase just yet.

I have close friends and family who are waiting on the Lord for one thing or another, this one is for you… you are not alone. I know the wait is far from easy, I know it feels like only you understand it, I know you feel alone, but you aren’t. I encourage you to live while you wait.

The wait 2.jpg

 

 

Choose…

I woke up feeling really tired.

We had gone to bed with the generator on because we were one of the few who didn’t have light thanks to our weak transformer. My husband must have gotten up to turn it off as I remember waking up in my own sweat. As if that wasn’t bad enough, my daughter woke up cranky. Bath time has always been a mini war as I struggle to scrub her clean. Brushing her teeth is another matter, I find myself taking on different weird positions just to ensure I brush her teeth well.

This morning was no different. She cried, struggled, kicked and screamed. I began to question myself.

Was I too soft with her?

Do I not have control over her?

Am I weak?

If there were two or more of them will I die?

So many women out there are raising children on their own. A lot of women around me have two or more children. I tell myself, if they can do it, so can I. This is indeed a mental note I have to keep repeating to myself. It actually makes me appreciate how different we all are.

I used to think I was born ready to be a mom. All those years I looked after my niece deceived me into thinking it wasn’t so hard. I recall judging my sister a lot. Thinking and saying things like she can do this differently, she’s spoiling her baby, blah blah blah. Reality hit and hit very hard.

Sometimes I just give in for peace sake. I do not consider myself as weak, in fact I make a conscious effort to be subtle as I know how aggressive I can get.

(Enough about this morning)

***

A person’s background matters a whole lot.

Ever wondered why there are so many failed marriages around? A number of us grew up in a polygamous or single parent home.  We have little or no idea of how a sound marriage should be like.

I once met a guy who stated quite vehemently that he was definitely going to cheat on his wife because he knows his dad does it and it really isn’t a big deal. That conversation broke my heart.

In our society today, we spend more time and energy fighting for things that aren’t so important. Some of our men have taken the back seat and pushed the women forward to take on manly roles. Some women are chasing facades / dreams that only happen in fairy tales.

How do we keep up with an unhealthy trend?

Before you make a harmful life-changing decision like having two or more separate families, consider first its impact on your children and the start of an unhealthy trend in your lineage. Polygamy, incest, broken homes, etc. creates insecurities or worse in children which lead to broken adults, which leads to a dysfunctional society.

Do not be deceived, history usually repeats itself.

Ever wondered why you end up like that one parent you tried so hard not to be like? Have you found out a particular pattern of events happening in your family? Did the same thing that happened to your mom happen to your or any of your siblings?

Ephesians 4 vs 22- 24: 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

There is hope, there is newness of life in Christ.

One reason why I keep sane, regardless of whatever goes on around me is that I try to keep my focus on Him. I really try to unburden myself and live free. I choose not to allow a dangerous trend re-occur in my time.

You have the power to choose too.

The power of 3

The number three is quite significant especially in the spiritual realm. There’s the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Resurrection – Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, Creation – God made living things on the third day and many more. The number three is also the number of time – Past Present Future, Birth Life Death, Beginning Middle End.

Today, the number three signifies the number of years I have been married for.

It seems like yesterday when we agreed to get married. I recall having a conversation with my then boyfriend about how ‘the world’ will freak out if they found out we were getting back together. We agreed to keep it low key. We had both been through so much in the past year and we were not keen on having anymore drama. Luckily, our immediate families were cool with our decision and we went for it.

Planning a low key wedding was not fun. Deciding who to be there was torture. At the end of the day, we ended up hurting so many of our loved ones.

Do I regret making that decision? No I don’t. I considered all that went on the year before we got married and decided that at least this one time, I was going to put us first before anyone else. Selfish much? Yes. Sometimes, great decisions require radical moves.

I found it really hard to sleep the night before. I tossed and turned all night. Was this finally going to happen? He had proposed before but it didn’t work out. Was I going to finally say ‘I do’ to this man? He had been really patient with me. Loving me regardless of my flaws. Would our families bond? Will I have children that look like me or him? Was he going to change as soon as we got married? So many questions ran through my mind. I recall that I really did not care about my make up or how my dress will fit. I wasn’t bothered about who was going to be there as long as he showed up… He showed up and I did too.

There is nothing like being completely happy and confident about your choice. A lot of things may not go as planned, as I often say life throws curveballs, but as long as you make the right decision in Christ, that keeps you going.

A Bible verse I recited to myself over the years, confirmed I made the right choice. ‘….perfect love casts out fear…’ 1 John 4 vs 18. I have been afraid in the past, really really afraid in relationships that were never meant to be. I am not afraid anymore. I have perfect peace regardless of whichever shape the storm takes. I believe in the power of three – God, my husband & I.

***

As we enter into the third year of our marriage, I know and believe everything is working together for our good. All our hearts desires will be made manifest, we will move mountains and soar high like the eagle. I cannot picture this with anyone else.

Happy Anniversary to us!