who am i?

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

Friday, August 22, 2014

On Eggs and Life...

Mum hired a new cook. He had previously worked in a restaurant. I wish I could paint a picture that we had someone from an exotic restaurant come to work in our humble home… Ha! Don’t let your imaginations run wild at the mention of restaurant. My mum was relieved to get someone new.

I really didn’t care about where he was from or if he was new or not… Not until the first day he made breakfast.
I wasn’t a very happy child when I saw what breakfast was.
I was expecting regular fried eggs and bread, not soggy looking eggs with a pile of tomatoes and probably too much oil.
I had never seen egg stew/sauce before then. I only knew of the boiled, fried and scrambled variations.
When mummy came out for breakfast, I was whining, and almost in tears as I had to eat my bread without eggs “he doesn’t even know how to fry eggs” I complained.
My little girl mind couldn’t comprehend how an adult, who was supposed to be a cook, from a restaurant, had no idea how to fry eggs. Even I could fry eggs if given a chance. Why would he fry it that way? So distastefully!

Mummy didn’t really acknowledge my complaint, she probably felt sorry for me not eating well before going to school.
The cook was relieved of his job. I’m not sure it was because of the eggs though… I had to ask my mum why he was sacked, because I suddenly felt bad as I wrote this, what if he left because I said he couldn’t fry eggs? Mummy can’t remember why she asked him to go, but I can be rest assured from the look on her face that she thinks me silly for thinking she sacked a man for making yummy egg sauce.

Today? I’m the queen of egg sauce; I love it with yam, with plantain, with sweet potatoes, I even have it with bread sometimes. I love to make it. I’m sure I’ll rival that cook in an egg stew cook out! I’ve got egg stew game.

It’s funny how we often reject what we can’t understand. Because we’ve always had something or done something in a certain way doesn’t mean the next way isn’t cool enough, or even better. Add two to five and you get a seven. The same way you get a seven if you add four to three or six to one.

Don’t miss out on opportunities because they don’t present themselves in the way your mind pictured them to come. Sometimes the help you’ve been praying for comes from unlikely sources, learn to react like the little old lady in this story… 

There was a little old lady who would come out every morning on the steps of her front porch, raise her arms to the sky and shout, "Praise the Lord!"
Well, one day an atheist moved into the house next door. Over time, he became irritated at the little old lady. So every morning he would step out onto his front porch and yell after her, "There is no God!"
Time passes with the two of them carrying on this way every day. Then one morning in the middle of winter, the little old lady stepped onto her front porch and shouted, "Praise the Lord! Lord, I have no food and I am hungry. Please provide for me, oh Lord!"
The next morning she stepped onto her porch and there were two huge bags of groceries sitting there. "Praise the Lord!" she cried out. "He has provided groceries for me!" The atheist jumped out of the hedges and shouted, "There is no Lord. I bought those groceries!" The little old lady threw her arms into the air and shouted, "Praise the Lord! He has provided me with groceries and He made the devil pay for them!"

Friday, August 8, 2014

Bottom Box...

I have some beautiful outfits I’ve bought on various trips. Lovely dresses, red carpet ready, dinner party ready, high-class classy chic ready, posh wedding ready, although I’m away from the social hub of the nation, where my social light bulb glowed a little. I still bought lovely party/outing dresses, not knowing where to wear them to, but all the same, hoping I could add value to the beauty of the dresses on special occasions some day. 

Each time there was a wedding in my little town, I would bring them out and try them on and look in the mirror thinking how how pretty they look on me and then I tell myself, “I can’t waste this outfit for this wedding” or “why should I wear this really beautiful dress to church, it should shine at a big occasion” and it goes right back into my special suitcase, the pink one where I keep the really new and expensive things in.

Well, I lost some weight recently, I am not how I used to be when it comes to my size, thus I cant wear some of my lovely never-good-enough-occasion-to wear dresses anymore, the new curves of my body eludes the lines and cuts of the dresses. I dropped one size without even trying… fitfam what? I had to give out some lovely outfits with a heavy heart…

Lesson learned?
Nike says, just do it… I say Just wear it! Enjoy it! Display it! What’s the special occasion? NOW is the special occasion. Look beautiful for church, shine bright for that wedding, even if the guest consist of mostly old ladies from the village, shine in your expensive new dress anyway… Shine, shine, and shine every chance you get. Shine to the grocery store, shine to work, shine when you head out for ice cream, every moment is a special occasion worth shinning for. Dress your best, be a peacock in the crowd, you don’t know who’s watching :)

The bottom box* isn’t such a good idea sometimes(I learned the hard way), especially when it comes to life. Yes, we keep those special items, but what about the talent(s) we have? We don’t think its good enough for any of the occasions when we are given an opportunity to show the world just what special trait lies in us. The world could be just one person or your church or family, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes we look around at our best friends or the lady on TV and think how blessed she is because she’s got all these talent and dances and sings and even acts so well, and we’re quick to condemn ourselves, and move further down in our bottom box thinking what we have can’t face the world in the light of all those people out there.

What are you hiding in the bottom box of your life? What have you covered up? The fact that you love to cook, or you sing really well in your room? Or how well you dance behind closed doors? There’ll never be a right time to invest your one talent. Put it out there and sing, even if no one hears you… sing even if only one person applauds you… sing, join the choir…. Just sing! Someday the Master’s going to ride in and ask you… what did you do with that special dress I gave you? Will you tell him, there just never seemed to be a right time or special occasion to display it, with all that talent He gave the others, so you kept it within, close to your heart, your personal secret. Like the man with the one talent in the parable Jesus told. (Matthew 25:24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’)

It’s time to overturn your bottom box. The special occasion is now… the time to shine is now… even to an audience of one, shine your best… don’t despise the days of little beginnings or look at how multitalented your neighbor is, don’t let it determine what goes for you. Your church is too small for you to shine so bright, shine so bright anyway, that those outside would run in to see the light, the right person may be among the crowd to come in and pick you up from the midst of all that. Like my dresses don't fit anymore, don’t hide the treasure within you that you end up missing out on the gorgeousness of it at a time when it would have been so fitted.  Steve Maraboli’s sums this up right with his quote… “Cemeteries are full of unfulfilled dreams... countless echoes of 'could have' and 'should have'… countless books unwritten… countless songs unsung... I want to live my life in such a way that when my body is laid to rest, it will be a well needed rest from a life well lived, a song well sung, a book well written, opportunities well explored, and a love well expressed.”

I pray we all find a way to express the treasures buried within us… you are what the world is waiting for.

*Bottom box: Treasured attire worn only on important occasions.
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