who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Divatude!


I love attention. Something I’ve been able to suppress thank God. Who doesn’t? As much as I hate being around people sometimes and would love to live on an island one week out of each month, I love attention. It’s one of those things that you hate almost as much as you love.
Some have accused me of being a diva. I’m honestly not sure what their definition is, cos I’m the sweetest person ever. Seriously, I’m a nice sweet little girl, I mean i whine about stuff sometimes and i can be a little stubborn, but I’m no diva. I haven’t been accused by enough people to get me biting my nails at night, so i'm not worried about it.
But I loved the events, I loved attending this things and dressing up, I loved the cameras and the red carpets, I loved seating down and looking uninterested while really loving whatever minor attention was given to me. The few times my picture appeared in magazines or online, I acted aloof but secretly jumped and flip flopped in excitement, my thisday style debut got my heart soaring, not minding that they got my name wrong. I loved going out loving the best i could and having people stare and you know how  we do it ladies, pretending you don’t notice but knowing.(all ladies do that right? or was i really a diva? :P)
When I moved jobs to manage an artist, I got a shocker. I attended more events but suddenly I wasn't the star anymore, he was. We would go for events or go out and I’m practically ignored, he's getting all the attention, me getting some attention, curious stares, is she his girlfriend? Oh, manager? Really?” Then the interviews, before it was about what i was wearing (our desperate attempt to be more red carpet suave) to how i was going to enjoy the show/event/whatever… and then it was ALL about him, even when they asked about me, as a manager, I would stir it back to being about the artist.Because you see, making it about myself as much as i would have loved to would have been a conflict of interest, i was in that job for him, to help promote him, not for me, to make my face and wardrobe well known to the public.
No more picking outfits to stand me out. The manager outfit! Shoes that'd serve beyond the sashaying on the carpet et co. I was no more on the red carpet as the fantasy queen herself, i was no more part of the audience. I was now back stage, not enjoying the events like I should have because I was working, making sure everything was in play for us, watching the dj and at the back of my head praying the performance was good and same time taking notes in my head, gauging peoples reactions et co. And then i would have to leave immediately after the performance just because my artist didn't want to be there, so i missed out on the fun parts of the events like.... food.

The 'diva' in me gets me aloof  and uninterested, but being a rep of my artist, i had to smile through meetings(i sometimes had no clue about), try to get in touch with people i would normally ignore, and be nice to certain people who were sent from yonder to annoy me. Especially those annoying calls.
I had a job to do, and holding on to 'divahood' would never have helped me achieve that.  I was entertaining those that used to be me. I was now the “star dust leading to the star.” That’s a hard truth or reality to swallow but I think I swallowed it good. It was tough, but he helped build me.

It’s evident you run the show, so let me back down
You take the leading role, and I’ll play the background
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I’m sticking to your script, and I’m reading all your signs
I don’t need my name in lights, I don’t need a starring role
Why gain the whole wide world, If I’m just going lose my soul
And my ways ain’t purified, don’t live according to Your Word
I can’t endure this life without Your wisdom being heard
So word to every dance, a foe, a pop star
‘Cause we all play the background, but mine’s a rockstar
Yeah, so if you need me I’ll be stage right
Praying the whole world will start embracing stage fright
So let me fall back, stop giving my suggestions
‘Cause when I follow my obsessions, I end up confessing
That I’m not that impressive, matter of fact
I’m who I are, a trail of stardust leading to the superstar
" Le
crae -Background
I love Lecrae's song 'Background.'
That’s how it should be in our walk with God.
Life Before Christ was all about me, but now, it's about him, he is my center. I let him take the lead in my life, while i stay in the background.
It doesn’t matter if we were divas or whatever in the past, once you decide to work/walk with Christ, it’s a new story.
You can’t play the lead and same time say he reigns over your life. Only one person can lead. Unfortunately most of us leave him in the background and take the lead.
"As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.  For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry." 1 Peter 4:2-3(niv)
It's hard sometimes, especially when you're used to having your way. And then he tells you to do all this things you'd rather not, like be nice to that monster of a girl when you want to hang up on her.
But be humble, let him take the lead,he knows what he's doing. Like Peter said, we've spent enough time in the past pleasing ourselves, now its time to leave the stage for him.

Let him be the focus of attention on the red carpet, go backstage and let him be the star on stage not you, cos when you let him take all the glory, he lifts you up. I saw this quote by Tony Gaskin and it just made sense "i know you want the spotlight but please know it's gonna shine on your flaws too..."
Letting Jesus take the spot light covers you up, your flaws are hidden in him, and your weaknesses are turned into strengths in him. So even if your flaws are brought to light in him, he does damage control better than any PR firm out there. He'll handle it better than we ever will.

"I had a dream that I was captain of my soul
I was master of my fate, lost control. and then I sank
So I don’t want to take the lead, ’cause I’m prone to make mistakes
All the folks who follow me, going end up in the wrong place
So let me just shadow you, let me trace your lines
Matter of fact, just take my pen, here, you create my rhymes
‘Cause if I do this by myself, I’m scared that I’ll succeed
And no longer trust in you, ’cause I only trust in me
And see, that’s how you end up headed to destruction
Paving a road to nowhere, pour your life out for nothing
You pulled my card, I’m bluffing, You know what’s in my hand
Me, I’m just going to trust you, You cause the dice to land
I’m in control of nothing, follow you at any cost
Some call it sovereign will, all I know is you the boss
Man, I’m so at ease, I’m so content
I’ll play the background, like it’s an instrument
" Lecrae- Background Verse 2

Sometimes we tell ourselves we’re working for God, which we really are doing but for the wrong reasons, because we’re loving the attention, it gets in our head, and we want the lead role too, he's the co-pilot, we love the star treatment and thus we miss the core essence of what our walk with him is about... Its all about HIM. Whatever it is we do, in every area of our life, lets make him the focus, our center, and lurk in the background. Giving Christ the diva attutude only helps you in digging the hole of your downfall yourself.
"I know I’m safest when I’m in Your will, and trust Your Word
I know I’m dangerous when I trust myself, my vision blurred
And I ain’t got no time to play life’s foolish games
Got plenty aims, but do they really Glorify Your name
And it’s a shame, the way I want to do these things for You
Don’t even cling to you, take time to sit and gleam from You
Seems You were patient in my ignorance
If ignorance is bliss, it’s ’cause she never heard of this" Lecrae Background

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Naked and Unashamed

I am beyond shame now. No, I don’t care about myself anymore, what more do I have to loose? Here I am, naked and being dragged down the street. My body might be beautiful, but this isn’t a birthday suite competition. I lift up my head, willing to walk with dignity despite the taunting, the insults and the shoves. I have already been sentenced in their heads. I know what’s coming next, death, and I’ll take it with dignity.

What would I miss if I’m stoned to death? The feel of love? Or what i thought love was? They call it adultery. Tim, the man I love,or i thought i loved, he meant the world to me till a few minutes ago. He seduced me with his words... I used to think he was worth the shame of what we had. But I was wrong, because I don’t see him being dragged out with me. He’s wiggled his way out of this crime; he must have told them I seduced him, that he had no choice, he took my story and made it his, i am now the guilty one. I've come to realize that I am a victim of circumstances, it makes me more determined to walk with my head high.
So we’re off to the self-professed one, the one who I believe holds the highest stake in the self-righteous market. I don’t really care, I used to like him. I would watch from afar when he spoke to the crowd, thinking how nice he was. Well today he would be my judge, the one to pass my death sentence, put the cloak of formality on what the mob have already decided. For a split second I’m scared. I know that the regular law says I should be stoned to death, so I expect that. But this one who is so holy, with different views, what if he orders for something more horrible to be done to me? Like death on the cross?  Fear of the unknown is worse than the fear of death itself. This thought sends a shiver down my spine. I’m cold, if only someone would give me a shawl to cover up… but no one is interested in my well-being. I refuse to use my hands to cover myself, just incase they see it as shame or remorse, I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction.
Finally we come to the place where he is. He's seated and ready to teach, theres a large crowd around him, and i am made to stand in full glare of everyone. "Teacher,this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  they ask him.
There's such a deafening hush as everyone waits to hear his response. Even my heart stops beating in that moment. All he does as we watch him is stoop and write with his fingers on the dirt, like a little child. I can't make out the shapes, I really don’t care about what he's writing, because I’m afraid, not of him, but of those around me. The hush has awaken me from a trance, in that moment I see the open hatred of all the hypocrites here eagerly waiting to stone me, in that moment, i'm just the little girl that i am who didn't know better.
There’s Francis holding a large stone, just 3 days ago he offered me a pouch of silver if I would spend the last hours before sunset with him, and next to him is Ananias, the one who’s sleeping with Miriam, his brother Jonahs wife…I saw her creep out of his house myself. I know one or two of their secrets,  this keepers of the law of the holy book. They’re just lucky they haven’t been caught like me. But why is there so much hatred in their eyes for me?
There he is, Master as we call him, he’s still scribbling  as my accusers wait for him to respond to their accusations. And then in the lowest of voices, that voice that I’ve heard him speak peace love and joy to multitudes, he speaks to everyone as he stares them in the face, like he knows what they’ve each done,things deeper than i claim to know, the stare is chilling and sad. I close my eyes,for the first time feeling the shame of my deed, the fear is gone, but the shame is overwhelming, the way he looked at me. I would have felt better if i saw condemnation in his eyes. I use my hands to give me a false sense of modesty, cos with him, the look he gives makes me feel shame and regret, not defiance. I close my eyes to block them all out. To block the sadness i see in his eyes out.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” he says in almost a whisper but loud enough for everyone to hear clearly. Then he bends down again to continue his scribble on the dirt. I feel goosebumps, my eyes still tightly closed, waiting to feel the first sting. I’m not the brave woman who walked with dignity to her death any more. I’m ashamed, is this worth dying for? I wonder how it’ll feel, the first impact, will it hit my back first? Or my head?  I hope it knocks me out cold, so I don’t feel the pain of the rest…..i wait and I wait, and I wait, wondering why they wouldn’t put me out of my misery,get it over with. Then I feel even before i hear the masters voice speak to me. He asked me “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”. I open my eyes and look around, its just me me and him. “No one, sir,” i reply, in shock.
I'm completely naked in every area with the one who's as pure as pure can be. Just me and him. My nakedness is embarrassing, it's not about my bare breast and all, that doesn't mean anything to him. Its about my heart and every little secret sin I’ve committed unveiled in his eyes. But he doesn’t look at me in disgust. He just smiles, and he's got this love in his eyes that covers my shame, that covers my nakedness, that tells me this isn't the end, its the beginning of a better life ….“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  Just like that, Forgiven and set free.
Bouts of laughter spill out of mouth, tears run down my cheeks as i turn around and run off, i hear him laugh at my excitement. The sound of his laughter tickles me and gets me laughing harder, i sneak a quick look back and see him using his feet to wipe off what he wrote in the dirt, and i allow myself a brief second to wonder about it, what did he write there?. Here comes mother and father, tears of joy in their eyes as they cover me up with a blanket. Truth is, I've been so covered with the love of the master i forgot i was naked to the world. I have been given a second chance, i wouldn't mess up this time.
John 8:1-11(NIV)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quick note

Hey everyone, haven't posted in a bit.
Its been such a week.
Hidden behind all the laughter of the past few days has been a mind worn out from thoughts of 'what if's' and thanksgivings.

I went for a funeral two days ago. The second funeral of a friend I've been unfortunate to attend. It was crazy.
I mean I couldn't even shed a tear when he was taken to be buried. And I thought, maybe the best way to grief is to shake it off and move on.
We get to a stage where we know griefing takes you no where and thus what you're left with is an option to move on and try your best to live your best, or you get stuck in a place of hopeless fear of the future and of your now.

I should resume regular posts soon.
This is just a little quickie as I head to abuja.
Speaking of Abuja... What's happening in the country is crazy.
I refuse to believe we've come to a place where even heading to the market gives you the creeps 'what if there's a crazy bomber there?'

Everyones scared there's no immediate solution to this because we have a "weak president"
I am and will always remain a hope addict. Afterall 'God is still looking for the weak and foolish things of the earth to manifest His strength and wisdom (1Cor1:26-29)'
So whatever it is we label him as, there's still hope.
One way or the other peace will reign again.

X
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Friday, June 10, 2011

You no better pass me o (I'm better than you)

You woke up, and now you're walking around like you're so special.
You try to pick out which one would look best on you from your five black dresses. You bring out your only black hat... Its a Philip Treacy piece (and just so you know I have his custom made pieces in 6 different colors in my wardrobe, I can't use them anymore after spending so much on them).
You bring out your black louboutin to go with it. You figure the new chanel sunglasses you bought last week would do.
Its going to be a long day for you.

Me? My dress for today was picked out about a week ago. I would have picked something different if I shopped for it myself, but my mum picked this out. It's a white dress.
Its not so bad, I just hate the lace and trimmings on it, I feel more like chukkys bride than the kings bride.
But what does it matter? I'm still better than you.

No, you're not prettier than I am, the boys you crush over are the ones chasing me.
No you don't pray more than I do. Truth is sometimes prayer as wonderful as it is, is something you do without, all you want to do is go about your day.
You don't read your bible more than I do...how many verses do you have in your heart?
Your voice doesn't sound like some cherubim when you sing, certainly a far cry from mine. You object? Wanna hear me sing?

You're not always nice to your neighbor and truth is you haven't learned to love them like yourself. I love my neighbors, I cook for them. I let their kids sleep over and I take them shopping too.
You complain all the time, compared with me its a 2:8 ratio.
You feel like strangling one or two people every hour,while I smile and walk away from trouble.
How many times did you visit the orphans?
How many times did you donate to a charity?

Your tithes and offerings are not more lofty and regular than mine...
Infact I give more than ten percent as tithe, my offering is so fat and juicy and is probably the sweetest smelling savor up to heaven.
I don't even see you in at least one of the church's week day programmes.
You're not as young and vital as I am.

I work out twice a week, and I jog round the estate 6 days a week...
I play tennis and have regular swims.
I eat right.
You just eat junk and spend two minutes on the trend mill. How's that for health?
I have regular check ups done with the best doctors and they're impressed with me. They expect me to live a long and healthy life.

But today, I'm lying down and you are standing. Today it seems you have the upper hand.
It feels like you've won, even though I'm better than you.
You're taking more breaths than I am.
I've wondered why?
But I know life isn't a competition.
And some questions you don't have answers to.

All I wanted was some apples.
That's all I wanted.
That's why I drove out, in my joggers.
I left my clothes in the washing machine. Just a quick dash out.
I was thinking about calling my travel agent to confirm the date for my next destination holiday when the car crashed into me.

And today, my legs that were hotter than yours are crushed.
They say the impact was heavy....
The layers of foundation covers the cuts on my face from the shattered wind screen.
I don't remember ever having so much make up on.
Even with that I still look prettier than you.
But what does it matter?
My brand new car, the latest model of yours is a write off.

I know for a fact that Its not because you're better than me.
Or more special than I am that you stand here today bidding me farewell.
Looking classy, clad head to toe in black.
Its only his grace... Giving you yet another chance to make it right with him.

Maybe I was better than you, but that doesn't make him obliged to give me life.
If he can take me from the world even with all my devotion to him, even when I'm not ready, what makes you think you deserve to breath another second?
What makes you think you deserve to get well from that headache?
What makes you think you have a right to sleep and wake up unhurt every morning?
What makes you think that you have a right to fly in that plane and not crash?

His love for you is more than you can imagine.
That love opens the door of grace.
And that grace keeps us even when we are undeserving.
Don't take Gods grace for granted.
Be thankful for life...

I lost another friend yesterday.
He was healthy, he died in an accident.
Its still hard to believe.
I saw another beautiful young girls' obituary in the papers a few days ago.
They haven't even lived,
They were young and full of life and dreams.
They represent me and you.
No one can hide under the canopy of youth anymore, especially when it comes to death.
Stop saying you'll be born again in your old age.
Your old age is here.

Please don't mock that grace. It could have been any of us.
I hurt and despair for yet another loss.
I can't even question God.
I am thankful to be alive and well.
I am thankful my family is alive and well.
We're always traveling, and no ones been hurt.
We don't deserve it...
I'm grateful for grace.
Be prepared!!!

(So yeah, I wrote all of this on my bb...don't ask how please ;) )
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pregnant again


I sat with my knees drawn up on the bathroom floor.  I was in shock. I’m pregnant again. You say again? Where’s the first baby? I got rid of it. My friends told me I couldn’t go on with it. What would people say? They’ll point at me, say all sorts. They’ll laugh and call me names. I’m not like the other girls, the ones you’d expect such from. I’m the sweet girl who wouldn’t be caught in a club… I couldn’t have them crush me, and so I did what I had to do, aborted that baby with my fear.
I make a resolve as I seat somewhat scared in the bathroom. I wouldn’t let them get to me this time, I wouldn’t tell my friends what’s happening. I can feel it, this seed in me is something special, something I can’t afford to loose. I’ll guard it closely, and I’ll be careful to avoid a miscarriage, I’ll block out the voice of the people. I will ignore the voices that tell me I can’t keep my baby.
I’m willing to go through the whole nine months. I’m willing to be gossiped about, I’m willing to be smirked and sniggered at. I’m willing to be thrown out of church. I’m willing to be the outcast. I’ll go through the whole nine months, I’ll have the weird midnight cravings, I’ll go through the morning sickness, and I don’t even mind the bed rests and prenatal meds I’d have to take. I don’t mind my nose getting big and my face looking weird. I’ll take outgrowing my favorite jeans and tops in good faith; I’ll gladly fold up my fitted dresses and LBDs and embrace the loose shapeless ones, if that’s what it’ll take to have this baby.
I’ll go through labor and the pain. And as I stay in the birthing position, hit by another wave of pain, regretting and wondering if maybe I made a mistake by keeping the pregnancy, I’ll take another deep breath, hold on to my mothers hands, contract and push, and heave and scream and push again till my baby comes out.
                                     
And as I hold her in my hands, the world will see what a beauty she is, those who pointed, laughed and ignored me in their idea of my period of ‘shame’ will come to me. Wanting to hold my baby and kiss her and pull her cheeks looking silly as they make funny faces coochie cooing at her. They’ll want to baby seat and feed her and sniff on her baby scent, not even minding when she pees and poos on them, forgetting that they once pointed at me and scorned me. Because my baby is special, the world will know her, and years later I’ll be the proud mother watching as my baby picks up her diploma or wins the noble prize, glad and thankful I didn’t cave into fear a second time to let her go.
And so it goes with dreams, we get discouraged by FRIENDS and by FEAR, thinking about how young we are, what people will say, about how we’re too young or too old to have such ideas.How they'll say we're just plain stupid to dream of something so impossible, how they'll snigger behind our back and sometimes avoid us when we go through the process of bringing the idea within us to life. 
Ignore them and decide you can do it. Go through the stress of pregnancy after conceiving that dream knowing it’ll be worth it. Moments when the banks shut the door in your face, and investors turn their backs on you, moments when no one supports your ideas and everyone thinks you’re such a joke, making a big mistake, making a fool of yourself. It’s all like the morning sickness and all the somewhat uncomfortable changes a woman goes through in her nine months of pregnancy. 
And at labor, when its most painful, remember they say “its always darkest before morning”. We know a child is due when her mother starts experiencing the labor pain. You’ve got to remain in that birthing position even when the pain makes you wish for death, makes you want to give up on that dream. Take deep breaths and hold that supporting hand that might be available to you as you PUSH (pray till something happens.) and heave, and scream and cry and PUSH again and again and again, till you have that baby.
When the dream is finally birthed, all those who mocked, who said it was impossible, who laughed at you and tried to make you feel less than the size of your vision, those who called you stupid and crazy would come running, wanting to be part of this achievement, wanting you to put them on your guest list, wanting you to employ their relatives, wanting you to acknowledge them. Forgetting they almost made you abort this dream.
Imagine the ridicule the Wright brothers must have faced, with the impossibility and craziness of their idea, mere bicycle makers… trying to sell a flying machine to the US army and foreign countries. Today great-grand children of those who must have mocked them are flying in this planes jostling for first class. And an airforce base adjacent to where they birth their dream is named after them ‘Wright-Patterson air force base’. 
Or Otumba Gardaffi who started the mobile toilet business all over lagos with the slogan “shit business is serious buisness”. I can imagine the laughs he must have had thrown at him, the discouragements et co. Now every Owambe and outdoor activity has happy guest unloading and the Otumba smiling to the bank from peoples need to download after uploading all sorts from the buffet table.
Birth your dreams, don’t let people stop or discourage you. Your seed, that dream in you, is a unique thing you carry, planted in you by the King himself. You carry the kings baby and how you hurt him when you let yourself get dragged to the clinic of impossibility to abort your dream in fear.
And when you're bold, even in your fear to have your baby against all odds, they'll look on in awe at how well you've done. “All the nations of the world will stand amazed at what the LORD will do for you. They will be embarrassed at their feeble power. They will cover their mouths in silent awe, deaf to everything around them” Micah 7:16

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Offering time.

A well-worn one-dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty-dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation. The twenty-dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country. "I've had a pretty good life," the twenty proclaimed. "Why I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean.""Wow!" said the one-dollar bill. "You've really had an exciting life!""So tell me," says the twenty, "where have you been throughout your lifetime?"The one dollar bill replies, "Oh, I've been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church .."The twenty-dollar bill interrupts, "What's a church?"
                                         
Its such a hilarious joke, yet so wrong to laugh it off without giving much thought to it.
I was a pro at exchanging bills for offerings. Mom would give me a high domination and i always had change at hand to swap. Why in the world would i give so much to the church when i could give the five naira in my bag(more like fifty kobo/one naira coins). It was perfect, i always had extra cash during the week.
Today i ask myself, would i dare present such gifts to earthly kings the way i do to the King of the universe?

We take his grace and blessings for granted.
I've learnt that He doesn't need anything from me. What i don't give, some 'fools' are willing to give more.
Until recently, giving offerings was just something i grew up doing in church every Sunday. Something I'd have loved to avoid because "the money doesn't get to God after all" and so since i'm forced to, i'll give little.
But now i know, If i feel that way, then its better to pass the basket on, ". . . You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure." 2 Corinthians 9:7


And i know many still act like i did.
Forget about what the pastors and priest would probably do with the money and give in faith, knowing that you're obeying the orders of the greatest king. 

There are loads of promises in the bible for those who give to God, but we should be willingly to give our best even if he doesn't give us anything back in return.
Even the pagans give the fattest cow to whoever it is they sacrifice to.
I can't begin to say how blessed i have been from giving.
I'm no more the little girl who swapped offerings.
I give with a joyful heart and with understanding that offering time is more than that 'time in church' or blessing time.
It's a time to give to my king and say 'thank you'
 
Lets learn to offer God our best.  According to our ability...nothing wrong with the small bills as long as that's what you can afford.) There's obviously something wrong somewhere when you give the lowest denomination in church and head out right after service for brunch in some over priced restaurant(picking the tab of all your friends) or when you can afford to drive expensive cars and buy expensive laces... et co
Lets give our thousand naira and twenty dollar bills grand tours of church. So the next time they have such conversations with the smaller bills, they'll mention church, right next to the finest restaurants while naming places they've been to, and this time, the one dollar bill would ask "what's a church".
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