who am i?

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let the Mango Ripen...


I’m not sure anyone gets as excited as I do when its mango season… YAyyy!!!
They’ve got a variety of mangoes in Benue(they don’t call them food basket of the nation for nothing)… I have no idea what their true ‘biological’ names are but in these parts, mangoes share names with humans ‘Julie, Peter, John, Brooklyn, Alphonsos. There’s Kerosene mango and a couple of others I just love to eat.
source
 In March, the trees are heavily pregnant with green mangoes, and I can’t wait for the rains to turn them yellow and give me the pleasure I so much desire. The green mangoes doesn’t stop some people though, those eager to make money, spend time and energy using sticks to bring them to the ground, and then they proceed in boiling the mangoes to ripen them for sale… It isn't safe buying mangoes at these time, you're left with a sour taste in your mouth and a tummy ache for days. We’ve got mango trees in my house, and i get pissed off whenever i see any of the staff plucking the unripe mangoes… why wouldn't they just let the poor things ripen and enjoy it like it’s meant to be. If i can wait, anyone else should be able to.
There is no satisfaction in eating green mangoes for me.
Then comes the first rains, and more rain and yayy, the mangoes hanging turns yellow, no one is struggling to pluck anymore, they just dropped, and everywhere you turn, mango sellers have genuine ripe mangoes you can comfortably buy knowing you’re not being deceived. Even when they don't drop, it's easier to get them down from the trees when they're ripe.
I was in my room early one morning and I heard thudding sounds, I peeked out of my window and smiled at the sight, the mangoes the staff struggled to pluck weeks earlier were dropping with no prompting. Yellow succulent looking mangoes covered the ground. All we had to do was bend down and pick them up into buckets. No stress, no wahala, and i mused at the wonders of God.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..." Ecclesiastes 3:1
No one understands the way God works… But we know He works in times and seasons. When we force a thing to happen before its season, we don’t enjoy the fullness of it, we miss out on a lot, we have a sour taste in our mouth and our teeth is set on edge. We labor for it, and end up not getting the best, because we refuse to wait for the right time.
Everyone has a time and season for certain things… you can’t rush God; you can’t demand to produce mango fruits of your life during the harmathan season, before the rains. The mango tree looks idle as we all drive pass it or relax under it for shade from the sun in the harmathan season, but inside, deep within it, it’s working, preparing, putting things in shape for it’s season of greatness and productivity. I love this quote "A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor." Victor Hugo
As humans, just because we don’t see a person blossoming and doing well in his business doesn’t mean he’s lazy and clueless or a write off. The fact that he is not in season doesn’t mean he’s useless… the fact that there’s a delay in living your dream doesn’t mean you’re expected to seat lazing around. Get at the invisible labor, ignore the voice of judgment from those around, educate yourself, build yourself up in areas related to your dreams, focus on positivity, make yourself ready for the day when your fruit is visible and ripe enough to start falling off without struggle.
Our struggle is in waiting for the appointment we have with destiny. God is a God of order, doing everything by appointment. In spite of temporary circumstances, God has a preset time of deliverance and blessings. TD Jakes
Prepare yourself for your season while you wait... No one cuts down a mango tree because it is out of season. Don't bring your life to a halt because you don't see immediate results. There's a season, and who knows, it may just be around the corner for you.

At low times, prepare yourself for your harvest and refuse to skip God’s time table. There's a reason he makes things happen in seasons... to ensure we prepare ourselves well enough for what we are called out to do. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let The Music Play On... Victorious!!!

I was having a nap this afternoon and the words of the song 'Victorious' kept resounding in my head. I haven't listened to this song in ages. I was excited to hear it again, knowing it was a timely word for me. I played it over and over again and the lyrics jumped at me and encouraged me and got me all emotional... I pray the words of the song blesses you too.



I feel a certain Spirit stirring up in me
And when it comes I’m being all that I can be...yeah
I’m rising up above my fears and challenges
The Comforter is sparking up my abilities...yeah

No matter what they say
Laugh and jab and criticize
They may ridicule me
Can’t deny this feeling and yes
I know the truth will stay
I know my faith won’t fail
The day will come to show what’s already done
Then the world will know that I’m...


Victorious
I won with Jesus
Trials. battles
Only for a short season

Victorious
I won with Jesus  
Because of you oh risen Christ
Be it in life or death I live in victory

Victorious

If you’re a Soldier of Christ come follow me sing

No...Can’t hold me down
No chain strong enough to keep me locked down 
My faith is the key to my elevation
Moving on to the light of my destination

The storm may come with rage
Tempest of pain and persecution
Tired, weary like my feet will fail me
Faith stretched to its elasticity
My soul no don’t you fear
Cos I can do all things

Through Christ who strengthens me

Victorious... etc

Onward Christian soldier marching as to war

And I know one day with arms stretched out
We’ll go through walls and glasses
Roofs and cars and graves
And feel no pain... (no pain)
 
And the shouts of the world would be heard below
With the winds in our faces. from all races
Feeling the thrill of height and space
Transformed as we meet with you

Oh Jesus!

In the air
in the beauty of eternity
Sights sounds and feelings
More beautiful than anything we’ve ever felt

Oh Jesus!

Strengthen me in this world
I need more grace...

Jesus!

Strengthen me in service
Till I see you face to face...

Victorious


These words!!!!! We are victorious indeed...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Children's Day...

It's Children's day today.
Don't you just miss the days of childhood? Days when the only anger and frustration felt on the regular was the sound of an adult's call to come home and shower just as the sun was going down, or the fact that you had to be dragged to bed at 9pm.
Of course growing up frees you from that, no one calls you to come home at sun down, telling you you’ve had enough and it's time for dinner. But then you miss the sound of an adult screaming at you to come inside and take a shower. Oh, how you want that shower, except you’re still at work way after the sun’s kissed the sky goodnight, and all you can munch on is some left over cookie and sip on stale coffee or hot la casera, and wish for a bath and your bed, because you don’t want to stay up late anymore. It felt much better when you played pretend office.
It feels like you’re drowning, no one to stop you as you keep going down down down...

I was going through my photo library and found some pictures a couple of friends and i took at the beach about three years ago...
It was a fun day... a few of us chose to go down memory lane and so we played 'suwe' (Nigerian version of hopstoch) and 'ten ten'.
I huffed and puffed after jumping around and had to take something to calm me down, but it was the best feeling ever....
Do children still play the good old games? It's now about Wii, Harry potter, Nintendo Ds, Blackberry et co.
“Hasn’t anyone noticed that there are no chalk marks on the sidewalks? Hasn’t anyone noticed that there are no hula-hoops being sold? What has happened to the pitter-patter of little feet? Where are the little girls with shy quaint attitudes, adorned with the bobby socks and berets? Why are the girls who once were riding tricycles now pushing baby carriages? We have lost the sound of childhood” T.D Jakes
my sis and i prepping for 'suwe'

suwe...

the certified 'woman wrapper' in the house
ten ten, i lost but who cares? :)
How uncomplicated it was, building sandcastles so carefully, and gleefully moving on despite the sadness you felt when some naughty boy kicked it down. You soon forgot about it and found a new game after the first few tears. But now? You build your world with so much care and one person comes and kicks it down, you don’t gleefully move on, your world is as shattered as that castle. It takes more than ice cream and a few tears to distract you… It takes more than a new pair of shoes to make you smile and move on and start rebuilding. It takes weeks of therapy and moving to a new town, changing your number and undergoing brain surgery to forget the pain :p

It gets all complicated when that tag  of adulthood is placed/stamped around your neck, on your head and all over your body... But thank God for grace to carry us through the rude awakening of adulthood, or else some of us would have crumbled.

God bless the children... If only they would realize how blessed they are and stop trying to grow up too fast.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just Move...


Sometimes, I am at a loss when it comes to directions… does it happen to you? It always happens, especially when I need to get to Stop Center in VI (i had my issues with Jevnik too, but that's sorted.) I know where it is; it’s off Bishop Oluwole street, but I can’t for the life of me tell you what turn it is… first, second or third. I also know I can access it from Saka Tinubu after some maneuvering. If asked for directions on how to get there, I would give a blank stare.
But it’s amazing how I get into the car and drive to stop centre even without knowing my way. I just drive to the familiar street of Bishop Oluwole, a little clueless but sort of knowing. My instinct tells me to turn and I end up turning at the right street and getting there without the trouble i envisioned from home. It always works that way. I know I need what the shop offers, and the fact that I can’t get a vivid route in my head doesn’t stop me from setting out, because i don't want to settle for less.
How many times have we had dreams and ideas so big within us, that we almost burst with excitement? We know what we want, we see the end result, but getting there is a bit of a complicated issue, because we’re not sure how exactly we’re going to arrive at that place. We tell people where we’re going to, and we can’t give them a clear picture, how we intend to get there… no laid out business plan. Thus they've got that "you're crazy" look on their faces. That shouldn’t be a reason to sit at home, settle for less or forfeit your dreams. We’ve got to get into the car and just drive in the direction of our dreams, drive to the familiar street and know that we would get there… as long as we hold on to our faith in God, the Spirit of God will lead us there, He would be the instinct that gets us to turn at the right place, if we choose to listen

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
i.e You want to write a book someday, you’re not sure how or what it’ll be about, but you feel it deep within… Start a blog, get into the writing vehicle and drive to the familiar street of writing for your audience of 10 or 1, you’ll get the break you need just at the right time if you’re steadfast.  
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Proverbs 3:5-7(the message)

Don't sit home because you don't have a clear picture of where the road to your dream lies... Remember you can't be wise in your own human quota, get into the car of determination and drive towards your dreams in faith... you'll get to your destination of resting in your purpose, because God is on the throne, and He has equipped you for the journey, even when you feel you're traveling blindly.( A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men... Proverbs 18:16) Get up and move... 
Nothing is impossible, if you can dream it, then you can get it.
"Growing into your dreams is worth more than forcing your way into it. No one looks appealing with an oversized or undersized dress. You have the desire in you, it’s your choice and responsibility to work out and shape yourselves into the garment of your passion."
It's the little steps you take that leads you to the bigger picture. Just move....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Joy The Foolish Enjoy...

The message of the Cross to those who reject it is...

Foolishness
Insanity
Nonsense
Folly

To those who embrace it, the cross is the Very Power of God... It is

Hope
Peace
Joy
Love
Forgiveness
Grace
Kindness
Transformation 

I can't explain it, you can only feel it. It's beyond pretense... it is so real. How do you explain a sudden change of heart and behavior? A certain passion for something so 'foolish'?
How can i explain in words that make sense?
The gospel is indeed foolishness, but what do we call the senselessness of continuously going for an exhibition if you're not interested in buying the product? Just to make the artist feel he's got your support even though you think his work sucks(you know you've got to keep him in your circle of friends just incase). You can't understand why there's such a buzz and rave reviews about his work. All the crazy people from his psychiatrist must have been pressured to support him. Why mock God? he really doesn't need our cheering if we're doing it only on Sundays,( and just to have him in our friend list because you never know when you need to call on him )... To make an appearance while we mock those who really appreciate his work.

"The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It's written,
I'll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I'll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.
" 1 Corin 1:18-21 (Msg)

I pray we snap out of our Wisdom soon enough...

Subscribe to the foolishness of the gospel and disconnect ourselves from the worldly wisdom. Then and then alone can we understand the meaning of Salvation and Love like it is meant to be. Then and then alone can we walk away from the things we thought we could never live without and be a 'church boy/girl' like the foolish people down the street without even trying. A fool for God is wiser than the wisest in the world. The foolish are a joyful lot.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just How Well Is It?...


It is well…
But just how well is it? When your heart is grieved, when you don’t know how your answer would come, when for just a minute you let yourself be the human that you are and panic, throwing aside Gods assurance that when you hold on to him, you ought not to fear even in the deepest valley…
Just how well is it?
The fact that you don’t know how loosing out on a deal can prompt you to think it is well, doesn’t mean it isn’t.
Thus I can say, it is well with my soul even when I have no idea how. That’s what faith does… it makes you believe even when you’re clueless. It gives you a faint glimpse of hope that gets clearer and clearer as you claim your Fathers will and trust Him that even in the pit He is still God.
That’s why the message of the gospel is foolishness. You can’t be logical and trusting at the same time. With God, you drop all your logic and perceived wisdom before you enter his throne room… With Him, you take the stance of a fool, because really, in God's eyes, we are most foolish in our wisest moments. His ways are not our ways, not even close…
Why should you say “it is well with me” even when you don’t feel like it? Because it is indeed. For the bible says "Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee..."Job 22:28 Saying the words doesn’t deny the situation, but it’s a declaration, a stand against your problems, a step in faith, that despite the pain, the sun will come out, and you’ll be fine. 

"The sun'll come out tomorrow,
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There'll be sun!"
Annie

Friday, May 18, 2012

I Got Tagged ... 11


I got tagged by The Relentless Builder and Toinicious.

The Rules

1.  Post rules
2.  Post 11 random things about yourself
3.  Answer questions posted by the person who tagged you
4.  Create 11 questions and tag 11 people to answer your questions
5.  Notify those tagged of the game
6.  Notify the person who tagged you after you have answered the questions
7.  No tag backs

11 Randoms... 
  1. I am a book freak. My favorite bookshop is kinokuniya in Dubai… it is the biggest bookstore I’ve ever been to. I daydream about that wonderland.
  2. I always have a note pad with me… always.
  3. I am a mango freak. Between mango and chocolate, I’d pick mango.
  4. Night time is my rise time… the juices flow and I tend to process thoughts well in the AM's.
  5.  I love to pamper myself... I never miss an opportunity to go all out at the spa. If i don't do me good, i can't expect anyone else to treat me that way. I do me good, you do me better and life's sweet.
  6. I love Shirley Temple... I can't seem to accept that she became an adult... I am sad, she should have remained sweet little Shirley all her days.
  7. I have been different sizes in my short life… I have been a size 14 and I am currently a size 8. Don’t ask.(But I'll still explain sha) We have unique body experiences in my family, my mum, aunts and my sisters have gone through the same(it's kind of cool though). People who knew me seven years ago still ask what I did to loose the weight, I’m tired of telling them how unique my family genes are… if I was allowed to lie, I’d make concoctions and sell to them and get rich off those who hound me. If they complain it doesn’t work, I’ll tell them to drink their urine or mine for an immediate result… and if they still complain, I’ll tell them “it’s probably my genes" like I've been trying to tell them since forever.
 
  1. I’m looking forward to skydiving… I don’t know how I’ll stomach it, but I know I would put up a nice post telling you about my experience…. It may be one or ten years from now, but it’s got to be done. 
  2. In my head, C.S Lewis and I are best friends. We dine and share ideas... he thinks i'm brilliant. I think he's brilliant too. We're birds of a feather :p
  3.  I love Polo... Thanks to watching princess daisy and pretty woman back in the day. I want to learn how to ride, and maybe just maybe be able to stick and ball (i don't have the stamina for the actual game)
  4.  I have pranced around poolsides but i can't swim... that's something i hope to conquer soon. I must make good use of the beach and hotel pools at my honeymoon :|

11 Answers to Toinicious Questions

1.      What’s the one question you would ask God if you could?
  Why he loves us so much.

2.      What is your most embarrassing moment?
Lets see... has your car ever stopped on Ozumba Mbadiwe during rush hour? Back when the road was under construction, just in front of 1004, the car decided to call it quits… apparently the fuel gauge wasn’t functioning well and the fuel tank was empty. Luckily my Brother-in-law saved my sister and i from that show of shame. I'm sure there have been moments, i just can't seem to think one up.

3.      If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be?
  The way leaders are chosen (Politics)

4.      If you could say one thing to the current pope, what would you say?
  Howdy big poppa. I kid… no idea.

5.      What’s the one thing you wish you could "Un-invent" in d world and why?
  Lace front wigs... Seriously, you need me to give a reason?
  
6.  What’s the most terrifying moment of your life?
Oh, i've had terrifying moments, but lets just say i wouldn't be going on a roller coaster anytime soon..

7.   If you were to be recognised by posterity for one thing, what would you like to be known for?
Now that's real food for thought...

8.   What colour best describes you? 
 Purple.

9.  If you could commit one crime without being caught, what crime would you commit? 
Sealed lips. Anything you say on blogville can be used against you.

 10.  If you had to name one lesson of love that took you the longest you learn, what would it be & why?
Love is patient and selfless and covers a multitude of sins(i'm allowed more than one right?)

 11.    If you could be guaranteed one thing besides money, what would you want?
  Joy... pure unadulterated Joy.

11 questions from Relentless...

  1. Would you describe yourself as fashion-conscious?
Ehhhh… I’m conscious when I dress up… does that count?

  1. Name one song you can never forget and why 
Graduation Song by Vitamin C... we sang it on the eve of our graduation from secondary school. We hugged each other and shed a few tears.
   
  1. What physical feature would you like to change?
I’m not lying if I say nothing… I love me so much, even though sometimes my arms make me feel like I can fly(on some christian mother P)… at least that means I am a beautiful human bird right? So no, I wouldn’t change anything. Thankful for the way I am… Bruno Mars wouldn't have to convince me that I’m amazing just the way I am.

  1. Three words that other people use to describe you 
No idea…. I’ll have to make some calls.

  1. Three words that you use to describe yourself 
Scratches head.... ermmm Don't know... I am simply the girl Jesus loves... every other thing is secondary :)

  1. Pen (Biro) or pencil? Which do you prefer, and why?
I love pens, the way they run across the paper… Pencils suck.

  1. Do you have a favorite fragrance (perfume, body spray, etc).  If yes, what is it called? 
I've got three favorites... Chanel Chance, Gucci Guilty and Nicole Farhi Femme.
     8.  What are your pet peeves (Name three at most) 
Ermmm... the "hey, I can swear and i can curse at God, it makes me look cool" Kind of people, Sycophants, Can't take no for an answer aka "I'm handsome and i know it" aka Johnny Bravo syndrome...
  
     9.  Do you like children? Why or why not? 
 I love children… I can't even begin to express myself.

    10. What's the name of the last book you read? 
Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer/The Prince: Jonathan(Sons of Encouragement) by Francine Rivers(Not so sure which i finished first)
  
   11.  What's the name of your favorite author? 
I've got loads, but i guess Francine Rivers comes top.
 
Now that i've done this i can breath easy... I'll break the rule this time, i wouldn't be tagging anyone.

P.S
Fantasy Queen is now Faith Queen, Fq for short... yayyy (long story, but will explain later)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cramps...


I am a super woman when it comes to pain… my strength often overshadows the pain. That’s why I can stay without taking drugs daily for the intense pain that almost keeps me in bed most mornings, or I can do without a pain killer for a headache… or I have to be chased round in circles to take malaria drugs (for the most part, I hate taking drugs.)
But there is one pain that shows me who’s boss… Cramps!
When the pain comes, all sense of reasoning is thrashed. I overdose on drugs, and most times I’m in a hazy state of high from the drugs. Life around me is stalled and all i want to do is step away from my body... away from the pain.
My hair is disheveled and I really don’t care who sees me, all that matters when i curl up and moan in pain is my tummy… That’s one moment in my life that I dare to query God. I tell him to take the pain, and when it still hurts, I dare to think that he doesn’t love me enough. That’s one pain that humbles me, that drives me to overdose on drugs even before I begin to feel it. The pain killers don't always work immediately, but i am comforted even in my pain that because i have dared to take them, sometime soon, the pain would have to bow out to the effect of the drugs.
source

God wouldn’t force himself on us like no one forces drugs on me. When God is done calling us in the subtle way, he relaxes and allows the cramps to come. He has sent cramp like attacks on some of us. He has broken our defenses in such a way that we ran back to him even before he could call us again. He humbled us and made us realize how much we need him by the effect of the cramp.
We grab at him with all our might when we’ve been hit so bad. We find ourselves in a state of emptiness and brokenness, that our only hope is in God. He uses the cramps of life to nudge us back to him. It’d be foolish of me to resist taking painkillers because I hate drugs, and i have a hot water bottle, I’d pass out from the pain I’m sure.
When he’s tired of the soft taps and the gentle whispers to do the right thing, he just relaxes and lets the cramps come. We make the choice ourselves, to choose him over the pain, to have him in the picture while going through the pain rather than not, because with him we have hope that we would face life better and the pain would soon be over.
Sometimes, i can't help but thank him for the cramps( well, not the physical one, i still give him the silent treatment when that one comes). Without the moments that bowed us over, we would never have run into the comfort of his arms to know him as the faithful and true God that he is.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Very Very Thin Line....


So how do you know when you’ve crossed the line between two extremes? We know just how thin the line is, but do we know just how close we are to crossing over or how close is the other person's brain to crossing over with wrong interpretations? 
We unknowingly cross over to the other side by oversubscribing to the good side. You know, just a little more spice to sweeten the food and you find yourself with a hot mess pot of stew…

There's a very thin line between....


  • Salvation and Religion
  • Loving and appreciating self and Vanity
  • Sharing info and Gossip
  • Friendly and Flirty
  • Ambition and Greed
  • Being caring and being overbearing
  • Rest and Laziness
  • Desperateness and Craziness
  • Friends and Enemies
  • Discipline and Abuse
  • Advice and Judging
  • Genuine concern and Intruding 
  • Being sweet and being silly/mumu/mugu
  • Speaking the truth and 'hating on'(shout out to all those who claim to have haters :p)
  • Fear and Stupidity
  • Funny and Annoying
  • Getting in touch with your feminine side and being a sissy
  • Diligently kissing endless frogs to find your prince and the tag 'slut princess'
  • A smile accompanied by a hello and 'Toasting'/Chatting up
  • A nice compliment and 'Toasting'/Chatting up
  • Cowardice and Bravery
  • "Just kidding" and the painful truth
  • Wisdom and Foolishness
  • Comments on blogs/twitter and Mental asylums
  • Johnny Bravo and that boy that was on my bbm list...
  • Mothers and Superheroes( i don't mind this)
  • Color blocking and Stark raving mad
  • Introverts and Snubs
Oh there's more... if only i could think. A very very thin line it is.
Trend with care or else you'll get served for what you're clueless about.

 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Still I Rise and I Shine...

The power of God shines forth in our ability to live and laugh after going through so much pain... How he comforts us and gives us the grace to move, even when we want to stay at that place of grief and sulk and never come out to see the sun smile again, because somehow we see it's smile as a smirk, rubbing it's brightness in our face, when it knows just how gloomy our hearts are.

But then God gives us memories to soothe us on bad days like this... just like a child is given a lollipop to make up for the doctors visit. I miss my daddy some days, some days i don't. Some days i cry, some days i shrug it off... other days I'm angry, and sometimes i laugh.
And then i see a picture... ahhh, thank God for memories.
Where would we be without them? The sweetness of a thought, it spreads through the heart and grabs at it, filling it with joy even as pain tries to take over, asking you why you never cherished those moments when you had them.

Thank God for the lens of the mind that captures the details... in that holiday, in that normal day where home was just home, everyone was still a child. Father, mother and children living life, not a thought of how there would be no daddy one day, and the little girl wouldn't be so little anymore, and there would be grandchildren and bigger dreams brought to life. They were just casual images in the mind, but now they are treasures, the ones you pull out when you need a smile, a laugh, a reason to be thankful for what you've been through.

I am thankful for my family. Life has gone on. Who but God? His spirit is truly the comforter... i can testify to that. I lost a father, but gained a mighty warrior, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords as my Father. A father who never takes afternoon naps... He never sleeps or slumbers. I am blessed beyond measure.

I am happy, i am not held down by grief, i am strong. I am now an adult, a woman of substance, sipping from the keg of glory of the One who has stepped in to be a father to the fatherless... I am no more daddy's star baby, I am now a Star of the maker of the universe, the designer of the milky way... Shinning brighter and brighter, reflecting the goodness and love of my heavenly father as the days go by.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

For the love of God, Hip hop, Lecrae and You...

I love Lecrae... and i love you too. (You don't know who Lecrae is? *gasp*... google him, i refuse to be a Lastma trainer :p I wouldn't be mad at you if you forget to thank me... but you should)
That's why i want you to listen to and download Lecrae's just released mixtape 'Church Clothes' hosted by Don Cannon(there's a lot of noise about the christian rapper + secular Dj, but who cares? as long as the message is clear)... If you love hip hop, you've just got to listen to this. And the icing on the cake? It's FREE!!!!!

I love the different approach... he's coming straight to the streets without loosing himself or diluting the truth. In the track 'Church clothes' Lerae spills on hypocrisy in the church and how it drives people away, especially unbelievers.
His lyrics are like a stampede on grounds many have feared to tiptoe on.

He's far from being religious on his track, but they somehow manage to be deeply spiritual, creeping on you with the message... #DOPE!

I'm not a good dancer I can't dance, but I've been dancing moving in my room, and using words like 'dope', almost sagging my pants and getting gospel gansta. :)
It's that good! What better way to dance than to dance to words of truth?

Get your download here...



and here's the video for 'Church clothes'

Monday, May 7, 2012

Time and Chance...


My sister and I went down for dinner, the music from the hotel lounge floated into the restaurant and seemed to hover over us. It was such a magical voice. I sometimes forgot I was listening to a live performance and not a record. 
The lady’s voice was so pure and clear and she sang the songs if I may dare say, better than the original artists. She belted out one soulful old school classic after the other ... What a voice, what talent!

It hurt to think people that aren’t half as good as she is have sold millions of records and are living as established musicians, celebrated for half the talent she possesses while she struggles and sings at a hotel piano lounge in Port Harcourt for just a select few.
It got me thinking of what the wise man said in Ecclesiastes 9:11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.… 

The race truly isn’t to the swiftest. You could be the best at what you do and still remain in the place that you are while others that aren’t half as good as you are soar higher…. Time and chance and most important, God's favor.
I have seen extraordinary writers stuck in a rot, while less than perfect ones are best sellers.
Good acting skills limited to small time plays when actors like Hank Anuku others are getting famous for doing whatever it is they do on screen that comes close to acting.
You have a book published? Thank God... there are people who write better, struggling to get published.
You're a caterer? Well there's someone out there who cooks better than you do, and would be such a commercial hit if only she's able to breakthrough...
Got the perfect job? someone out there with a first class and more is getting rejected.
Have a record deal? Well you should hear that girl sing and decide if you want to be thankful or not.
Be thankful for what you have, there are people who can do what you do better than you... but time and chance, Favor has found you and lifted you.
Never take your success for granted.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How pounded yam saved my life... This isn't an Ofili production.

There are things that are not expected of me as my mother’s daughter, my sisters sister, my aunties niece, my nieces aunty and my grandma's grandchild. Maybe a little of those things are expected as my brothers sister, but definitely more as my fathers daughter (yeah, I’m kind of dizzy from all that talk too)
You see, when I was young, it was a taboo to be on an okada… Once I was in the car and who wheezed past on an okada waving at us? Nobody but the father himself. The shame of it.
He took my brother, mum and I to a joint to eat isi-ewu once… I preferred the outings to hotels…mum wasn't so thrilled either. I couldn’t imagine how anyone would want to eat isi-ewu, something so bitter, prepared in such an environment. Why father?

Once I was traveling to Jos with him, just the two of us, and we stopped at this disgusting (in my opinion as per my mothers daughter) pounded yam joint in kadroko, a town in Nassarawa State, just between Makurdi and Lafia… daddy ate there!!!! Little me was so pissed at him, I sat down and watched him with disdain… why oh why do you shame me so father? I may not have worn bras or known how to bait my eyelash then, but I was such a mature snub.
Twenty years later, with bras, pimples and makeup, and i am a little less critical of daddy and some of the ‘down to earth’ ways he chose to live because hey… I am down to earth too…  Thanks to my uni, I found myself in a phase where necessity won fare and square, I ate out in local joints with new friends, I fell in love with isi-ewu, I climbed okadas(to mums horror)
I started working, and the cleaner was my proxy in the board of  addiction to agege bread and boli on Adeyemo Alakija street, i would 'chop and clean mouth' in the office and come out acting like a babe, a true child of my mother.
And here's a picture of me eating mango and gisting with the two drivers and one of the factory staff…(well that’s the chair i got up from)I am down to earth indeed...
                                               


About twenty years later, my brother being the true fathers son that he is, came home from Abuja one day, I wondered why he wouldn’t eat the meal prepared for him… he told me the driver stopped at some joint in kadroko and mennnn the pounded yam was out of this world. Alarm bells rang… that’s where daddy and I stopped once. How couldn't i have remembered the place after driving past it all these years? Apparently it is a hot joint, ‘big boys’ stop there to eat and life is good for them.
Fast forward to a few weeks later, my brother, the driver and I were on our way from Abuja to makurdi… at Lafia, I mentioned to the driver that we would stop to eat at 'that place'… but alas he didn't think i was serious and drove passed… but he had to do a you-turn, that's how determined i was. We stopped at this joint that I once judged and sentenced daddy to the jail of embarrassing parent years ago for daring to eat at.
I guess it falls in the category of lowest of the low places i have come 'down to earth' at. You’re almost sitting on the road… and my bright colored outfit did not help matters, what if someone I knew passed and saw me? there was this speed bump right in front that made sure travelers slowed down real good at that spot… anyone staring at me would be able to do so in slow motion, they would get every detail of my outfit and have enough time to take a picture of me and post on facebook. When the food came, i lost every shred of shame.
The food? Oh my goodness!!!! Somebody shoot me. I had spent the previous weekend eating in so called four star hotels and restaurants in Port-Harcourt and Abuja, spending small fortunes on meals and buffets that did nothing and tasted like nothing, and there I was, the best pounded yam and egusi I had eaten in ages… it could very well compete with grandma and her daughters food, and trust me grandmas soups are legendary.
I couldn’t stop eating, not even when I was full… my brother commented on how I was almost finishing the food. I hardly ever finish my food, I’m a certified food waster, ask those who have been kind but unfortunate enough to take me out on dates to expensive restaurants… they stone me and wring my neck in their minds as they smile and pay through their teeth for wasted food.
 mama delicious egusi clearing up our plates.
I blessed God for that meal… brother made a comment, something about hoping they don’t put anything in it(you know mama bashira things)… I honestly don’t care, we had barely driven off and I was already calculating the distance between kadroko and makurdi… thinking of driving down ever so often to have a meal… risking my life on a truck A road, driving for an hour plus to have egusi soup, bush meat and pounded yam.

I have beautiful daydreams of that meal, sometimes i see it, i taste it, and i smile at the thought of it… I gushed about it to my first sister and I could feel the vibe from the phone, not so good… and my third sister? Well she suggested she’ll try it if its that good, but she’ll take a food flask to pack it up so she doesn’t have to sit there(of course she'd remain in the car hidden and i'd be sure to do the dirty work)… Snubs! I haven’t mentioned it to my second sister, she might not be so noble about it, neither will my mum or aunties, after shaming them by eating in a road side buka where truckers stop to eat…. Not even the fact that some 'big boys' stop there is enough vindication.
So daddy, just incase you can read this… forgive me for being so judgmental… I am your daughter after all. Who knows, if I discovered this earlier, we may have had wonderful father/daughter bonding moments, driving to eat pounded yam out of town, our own little secret.
How pounded yam saved my life? Well, it didn't. It may have put my life in a little food bondage instead. But i got a truth from there... the things we look down on sometimes hold a lot of beauty in them, we miss out on some delicious opportunities by turning up our nose on the size of the package. Down to earth gives us a perfect chance to dig up treasures without sweat. 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Unpredictable

A friend of my mom from way back showed up out of the blues. She looked frail and wrinkled and her skin was suffering from the aftermath of years of intense bleaching. I didn't really pay her any mind, she didn't look exciting. You know like those friends that come in nice cars, well dressed, smelling good and you know... the whole well put together woman deal. So i guess, i didn't feel any need to be extra cool with her. I thought she was a burden especially when she opted to accompany mum to the village for one of those elections. As a senior civil servant she was obliged to go to her hometown to vote and make sure others did too. I think it was the 2004 presidential elections.
I was less than thrilled, election and village time was my thing with mummy, i would be the one keeping her company when the meetings were over, it would be the two of us sharing a meal with my uncle who was home too. It would be me the uncles gave money to, now they would have to give her too, probably from my share.

Anyway i didn't pay much attention to her, till one afternoon a day to the election, we sat down together while mum was in on of those meetings with the villagers. She started telling me her story and it was too much to take in. She saw the doubt in my eyes or maybe my thoughts of "kai stop lying" were louder than i thought. She brought out her old ID card and i was thrown off my seat. This bleached out, burned out woman was such a diva in her day, she had the Diana Ross hair and the exotic look. She was a babe and some.

She worked for Nigerian airways back in the day as an air hostess for their international flights, she happened to serve the first class cabin. She told me stories of the men, big names today and how they hit on her, how some parted with one too many dollars on the plane as tip and hotel details attached to the cash of course, and how she actually dated some... This piece of worn lady was once to be married to an ex president... then he got locked up and when he got out and sent for her she told me she sent back to him saying she was only interested in being a first lady, since he was no more president she had lost interest.

I asked my mum later and she confirmed her story. Mum talked about how she was in New-york every other week and always wearing the latest fashion, and how she owned expensive things, the envy of both her friends and foes. Did i mention she left her husband in her days of glamor, mum told me this part, not her. Look at her today...

I was so curious, i asked her if she's seen any of the men since... she told me she ran into of the famous chiefs and he gave her some money and asked her to come to get a car...(i wasn't convinced she was telling the truth) if she still looked like she did in the 80's, i would have seen the logic there, because this guys latest wife is a babe. I guess that's where her lie came in. I think she was living in her past glory, she started telling stories of BA calling her for a job interview... she probably was trying to impress me, to look good in my eyes. The long and short was, she came to mum after all these years to get some cash to renew her passport cos she was going to start a job with BA(all na wash of course). Probably the only way she could ask for cash from one of the women she posed for without feeling ashamed. I felt sorry for her.


Life is so unpredictable, one moment you're at the top of your game, the next you're just another woman, seen as less than the other women.

What happens when the bleaching stops, and the men stop seeing you as appealing, and the superficial life of glory fades? What happens when the fashionable clothes are out of fashion? We need to think of the future even as we go on the instant gratification trips... nothing superficial last forever, not even beauty. Get your act right and put yourself together while you can, don't get to a place where you can only live in your past either in regret or longing... just because you can't stand who you are at the moment.
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