who am i?

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Running Man...?

I did a voice recording over daddy’s Marvin Gayes music on his cassette tape. (For those who are clueless, it was the mp3 of the day)

Hands up if you experienced this.

It wasn’t funny to him, but it was fun for me. I really needed to hear myself sing and talk childish rubbish on radio, and I needed a tape to do that and daddy’s car was right there with cassette tapes, so I took the tape and now he was mad, so mad he scolded me.
I hated daddy’s scolds, he never hit me, his scolds were hardly screams… but daddy scolding me was as good as daddy beating me. You can’t really blame me, weren’t you ever fascinated that you could hear yourself on radio? The joy of hitting the record button and saying whatever you want, and then rewinding the tape, and listening to yourself, and just feeling pure joy? Daddy didn’t understand that, he was more concerned that his music was wiped out by my magical voice. So I went into the guest toilet to live out the rest of my life.

He was so angry I just didn’t want him to see me or bump into me, so I stayed in that toilet adjusting to my new life in tears. I don’t know how long I stayed in there for, it probably wasn’t up to thirty minutes, but it felt like forever and what joy it was when mummy came looking for me and asked me to come out and drive to my aunts house with her.
We got back home later that evening, and I heard nothing about my escapades ever again, although I was still a little mouse hiding out from the big daddy cat I upset earlier.

I have misbehaved a lot of times as a little girl, and my solution even when I wasn’t scolded at was making myself scarce. I remember my aunt made two lovely kaftans, with such beautiful gold embroideries… those outfits were dreamy… my little girl eyes were overwhelmed by the beauty of the gold thread on the navy blue sheda material. After aunty showed mum her new outfit, she asked me to get a bag for her to put them in and I rushed to get her one. I left with her for her house for a sleep over as I always did.
We got to her house and that’s when it happened. Aunt brought out her brand new outfits to admire and what a shocker! There were huge white patches on them… apparently I brought a bag that had a bleach spill in it and it ruined/discolored the outfits.
I felt horrible. She wasn’t mad at me, she knew it wasn’t my fault, but even as young as I was, I understood I had just ruined a beautiful and expensive outfit… I felt horrible, and I disappeared from the scene. I made myself scarce. I went downstairs or somewhere to hide out the rest of my night…. Until I heard my aunt looking for me. She wasn’t mad at me. Of course she must have been upset that her new outfit was ruined, but not mad enough to hate me, or send me away from her.

A friend forgot to call me on my birthday and he felt so bad about it that he kept running and running; avoiding me. I really didn’t care about that, I’m not petty about stuff like this…. I could feel condemnation dripping from him in the way he cautiously avoided me, and I decided to have fun with it and torture him with my silence for a little while longer. I really didn’t care about his not calling, there was no big deal. When I was done having fun, I sent a message and I could feel the relief coming through the phone from the other end. No, I’m not angry with you friend, stop putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. The more he thought I was upset, the more he stayed away from me. And that's the game we play with God, the more we think He's upset with us, the more we run from Him.

When we misbehave, our natural response is to hide. Run and hide. Hide away from the one we hurt. That’s what we do; the way we react to our parents is the way we react to God. God is not mad at you… even when you misbehave, His love covers you, don’t run from Him…. That’s the time to stop and be still in His presence, not the time to run away just like Adam and Eve. Stop hiding, Daddy loves you. Your silly mistakes or the sin isn’t enough reason for him to disown you. He loves you uniquely and his love is daily renewing and transforming you. There is no condemnation for you in Christ(Romans 8:1)
--> He says that He isn’t thinking about your sins or mistakes. He’s not holding them against you, come out of hiding.  'I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.' Isaiah 43:25(NLT) -->
Don’t stay stuck in the toilet like I did, hoping not to bump into Him. Avoiding church, avoiding prayers and fellowship with Him because you’ve “failed” him. You my friend are not so powerful,  that you can make Him stop being who He is… that you can make Him stop loving as He does by your mistakes.

The more you run, the further away you go and the less of His presence you’ll feel and you’ll think He’s left you, the truth is He never left, you’re the one who ran from the throne of grace, His arms are wide open waiting for you. He wouldn’t be giving you the side eye when you come back, like I behave to my little niece and cousins when they've wronged me and come back with an apology, no he wouldn’t be judging you from his throne of grace… no, he’s not snapping his fingers at you in anger… He loves you darling. 

--> "The law screams, "shame on you!" Grace screams, 'shame off you!"- John Gray

--> Grace screams mercy louder than the law screams condemnation. What voice are you listening to? The voice you listen to determines if you're running away from God or running towards Him. If you're going to be a running man, then do the right kind of running... towards Gods unending love.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mixed Emotions... Thanksgiving and Tears!

Its been a while since I blogged.
Not just blogging in general, I haven’t written much. Sometimes life happens and then you feel pinned down, enjoying it maybe? Or sometimes wallowing in circumstances, that you choose not to bring your head up long enough to just breathe.
It’s been a combination of both for me. Enjoying life, basking in it and in the midst of that, having this silly moments of staggering in a sad situation that should be translated to thanksgiving and rejoicing, because as bad as it is, it’s all good as well. 

I lost my grandma.
I wrote about her being ill here…. But she recovered from that.
She was well and strong, till she just dropped and moved on to eternity last month.
You see she was an old woman. A blessed woman that lived a long life. One thing I keep telling myself is how glad I am she didn’t live the earth helpless on a hospital bed, but she died so full of life. Mum saw her almost soon after she passed on and all I heard from mum and those who saw her was how she looked so beautiful, her skin glowing, a picture of peace. That’s just such a beautiful thought to behold.
I’m wallowing because sometimes, I enjoy being a child… a spoilt child. Thus I let myself act that way to my heavenly Father, because I know He loves me enough to indulge me… couldn’t she have lived a little bit longer Lord? I always pictured her at my wedding… I always pictured her there like she always is. As much as I knew this day would obviously come, I never imagined life without her. Oh Father, but I'm so thankful for the blessing of growing up with her, getting nourished and polished by her values and what she stood for. She saw not just her grand-kids, but great-grand kids as well. She lived a rich and satisfying life.

I boarded a plan for London that morning, not knowing that just as I was about taking off, grandma had taken her last breathe. We were both lifted from the earth same moment, me on an airplane, she on the wings of glory. I got the call when I landed, when I had just settled down at home and was enjoying the goodness of having my nieces around me. I was so calm when I was told… because I didn’t know how I was supposed to react. I thought I was strong… then I heard myself scream.
Death has no victory over us, but sometimes it just feels like it gave a hard blow that knocked you off your feet… and it takes a little time to rise up again and stand in the truth you know that, really, it has no victory. My grandma blazed out of life in victory into eternal life. She shut her eyes here, and opened them in heaven. When grandma was near death last year, she saw things. She spoke about beautiful houses she saw, beautiful houses she’s never seen in her life. We didn’t let her step into that beauty then, and God indulged us, gave us more time with her… and this time, we couldn’t stop her from stepping into that beauty, into His glory.  

My family is close knit, my grandma wasn’t just a figure that was there, there was a true relationship with her, our lives weren’t separate, and our lives were fully involved. As a child I would go to visit with mum and refuse to return home, mum would have to travel back home alone and send clothes to me. I enjoyed my grandma… a super woman, full of dignity, grace, love, kindness and peace even with her strong resolute self.
The meals she served us with were next to none. She was an exceptional cook… but what made her food beyond the ordinary was the love she prepared and served us with. Cooking for us was her love language. And she always made my favorite fried okro soup spiced with love and garnished with the biggest pieces of chicken (I suspect that’s why no one else can match up to hers)…
She was a great host, and I’ve watched the women in my family standing tall on her shoulders of excellence when it comes to hosting and entertaining, when it comes to showing kindness and giving.
Her heart and her home was always open to all: our friends and anyone who just happened to step into her home with us; the high and mighty, or the lowly and poor. I grew up seeing her compound always full especially at meal times, and everyone served food from the same pot her children ate from.

I took her to the hospital for her eye check up the last time she came over. I must confess I wasn’t too pleased with my mum for passing that responsibility to me, because mum was the one who did the appointments, but she and my aunts had to travel. I’m so glad I did. People kept admiring her that day; saying how beautiful she looked, how her skin glowed and saying how beautiful we both looked… I was such a proud granddaughter walking beside her that day. I didn’t know it was our last outing together, or the hug I gave her when I walked her to the car as she left for Otukpo was the last hug from her.

She loved the market, the attention she gave to detail in her shopping, be it for fish, oil or earrings, she was such an intense shopper, be it in the local market or in the malls in London, she showed herself… no doubt where her children get their shopping genes from.
She lived a good life and she has passed on to glory and now we are in the place where it’s our turn to live and carry the baton and torch of greatness, standing on the shoulder of the great giant that lived within her small frame, moving to even greater heights. 
We called her "Queen Queen" sometimes.  She was a real queen, from a royal family,  a child of a king on earth, how excited she'd be seeing herself as royalty in heaven as well.

I’m thankful for the life of such a woman of substance and grace.
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