Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mama’s Blessing & Mom’s “curse”

I am sure many of you have received blessings from parents and grandparents. You know they are powerful? Don't joke with them J. Let me share one of my experiences here.

When I got the first money of my scholarship in Uni, I bought Small Stout for Mama (grandmother). She blessed me saying, "You will be rich. You will marry a good husband. You will have plenty children. You will carry your grandchildren. You will be successful in all you do…" I also remember the day Mom said I should make soup for the house. I had a date. I abandoned the meal and went on my date. When I came back in the night, Mom was furious. She said, "You left me hungry and worried today. If you don't stop behaving like this, your children will treat you exactly like this…"

I remember vividly the night I thought was my last on earth. I woke up by 2 a.m. and my feet were frozen and numb. Inside my bones were biting me. Slowly I felt the cold and numbness creep up my limbs, and also move down from my skull. At a point the only part functioning was my lips and the heart. I felt once the numbness gets to my heart, it will be my end. There was no "NEPA" (light). Rain was falling heavily. There was no car to take me to hospital. No phones to call for help. After Mom prayed for hours and nothing changed, I gave her my so called last wish.

  1. Bury me in purple
  2. Do not make a ceremony out of it so you don't have to spend money
  3. Please call a man of God to pray for me - I want to give my life to Christ so I can go to heaven.

Suddenly I remembered Mama's blessing and Mom's "curse". I told myself "If they must come to pass, I cannot die even before graduating from Uni. They must come to pass." With that confidence, I could listen to the silent voice in my heart that said, "Drink water". I was afraid because I knew that before most people die, they ask for water. But since that was the only option left and morning was not approaching fast, I muttered, "Water". They quickly brought bottles of water for me. After 30 minutes of drinking, I felt the urge to urinate. They carried me to the toilet. I urinated. The whole house started smelling of Ampliclox. Then I recalled that 2 days before, I had taken self-medication of Ampiclox for boil. I asked for the pack of the Ampiclox. Guess what I saw? It had been expired over a year ago and I had taken overdose. I started drinking more water. By dawn, the numbness had left my body and I was normal.

Mama's blessing and Mom's "curse" are good. They were sufficient for the days when I was not a Christian. But now I know there is a far more superior blessing. It is The Blessing of the Lord, which makes rich and adds no sorrow with it [Proverbs 10:22].

There is The Blessing out there waiting for you to tap into. It covers every area of your life, even areas you never imagined. It is backed up by the power of God.

You can find some of God's great and precious promises specifically for you HERE. Should you find yourself in any trying situation, remember The Blessing. Remember His word and promises. Do not forget that they must come to pass.

For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and do not return there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the hungry,

So shall His promises be that goes forth out of His mouth: it shall not return to Him void without producing any effect, but it shall accomplish that which He pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it [Isaiah 55:10-11 AMP Paraphrased].


Have a blessed week ahead.

Pictures by Photobucket.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Honest Scrap Award [2] – Honestly Speaking

In response to your questions and comments, I have put up this long post [pls bear with me]. I hope you can find your answers here. If you need further elaboration please drop me an email on *wink*. Thank you, all of you who helped me recall some honest things about me and also to those who explained the Honest Scrap Award thing.

  1. Friendship: - In primary school, I remember gossiping about a friend to another friend. It was not a small fight that resulted when I got exposed. I learnt from that experience. I cannot remember gossiping about a close friend to another. What I know I might have done is talking to my man about a close friend. It might be when I need some advice or to complain about something.

    With my friends, I am very open. 90% of them can give you my life history from the time I met them. No surprises for them.

  2. Marriage: - 12 days ago, I was one year in marriage. I feel like I have been married all my life because most of the time it is so blissful that I forget the days, anxiety and worry I had when I was single. I am not a mommy yet. It is also my prayer that every single one of you desiring a husband should get married to a man who exceeds your dreams and expectations.


    Marriage is really the place to enjoy lovemaking. If the venue will not make the act pleasurable, I will quickly react. One of such places was on the floor. It was harder than I expected it to be.


  3. Talking career things: - I am a Petroleum Engineer. I enjoy the job 95% of the time. Some days could be challenging but I have learnt not to break during those times but to learn something new. You can read about my job experience on this blog here. I have been a very mobile worker. Within the last one year, I have flown a minimum of 48 times. With my move to Lagos, I hope to be more settled.


  4. Meeting bloggers: - I have spoken to a few bloggers on phone and chatted with a few. I tell you, these bloggers are wonderful. I do not want to leave them as virtual. I would love to meet them and other bloggers physically. The only bloggers I have met are those I knew before I started blogging.


  5. Embarrassing moment: - I happened to be a late bloomer though now no one can tell. There was once I put tissue paper in my undies and went to school to feel like my peers who had started menstruation. I stained it with red ink in case we go to the toilet and anyone wanted to have a peek. At that time, there was this boy that had been on my case and I was forming hard to get. That day, he took me to the tuck shop to buy me some snacks. Just after he paid and he was talking sweet nothings to convince me he was the one for me, the tissue paper fell down. In front of him and everyone. One girl pointed out that the stain could not be blood. I shamefully picked up the tissue paper, threw it in the dust bin and ran back to my class. I never agreed for the guy.


  6. Regrets: - Daddy once asked me for N12 (equivalent of $0.08). I refused. This was money I has saved. I used to keep the money in one book by my bedside but after he indicated interest in the money, I moved it from there. The day he died, I saw the book in his room. It suddenly made me realize that though the money seemed small, he must have really needed it. I still wish I had given him the money.


  7. Things I like: - My favourite colour is purple. Physically, I love my body. About myself, I like my strength. People are amazed at what I can do despite my stature [but I cannot carry load]. I also like my ability to learn on my own and my creativity, which my job has helped me to improve on. I love cooking and feeding people.


  8. Things I cannot do: - I cannot multitask except in the kitchen. I admire people who can take phone calls, type a mail and watch a movie at the same time. I do one thing at a time. I am still learning how to dress a bed.


  9. Why God: - Have you ever stopped to wonder the very beginning and source of all things? Have you ever reflected on the perfection of things surrounding you? Have you thought about the beauty, the coordination, and the purposefulness of those things that do not have self-will? Have you thought of the intricacies and uniqueness of yourself and how it could have come about? Have you ever imagined the miracle of babies? Surely there must be a source, a beginning, and a creator. Whoever He is, He is worthy of my respect and admiration because I do not know a pinch of what He knows.

    I delved deep into physics and geography yet I could not explain some things. I felt a void which nothing could fill. I decided to go and find out for myself about Him. Not until I made the move did I realize there was God who had taken miles to reach out to me. He was one I could develop a relationship with. I have seen Him at work in others but more importantly seen the transformation of my life because of Him.

  10. My walk with God: - I first gave my life to Christ in 1993. A classmate of mine prayed with me and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I continued living my life as it was. No reading of bible. No praying. No going to church. After all, neither my father nor my mother was a church-goer.

    In 2005, I rededicated my life to God. Yet, that same 2005, I backslid. Not when I had to deal with temptations like Big Boss, not when I had to face friends who knew me before and the fact that my flesh could not deny the pleasures of the past.

    In 2007, I yet again rededicated my life to God. This time, things had to be done differently. I studied the word, prayed and guarded my heart. Initially it seemed like there was no benefit, but as I look back I realize that staying on God's word helped me to know and love Him more, helped me with overcoming temptations, especially in the area of keeping my legs closed until marriage. I could not have done it on my own. It was from 2007 that I started learning scriptures in the bible.

    If I look back 5 years, I believe I have come a long way in terms of who I have become and what I have achieved.

  11. Looking forward: - I am very optimistic about life. I look forward to seeing my King and I with our children [4 biological and 2 adopted-twins]. I should be managing the best training centers in Nigeria for the oil and gas industry. Following my Christian Writers Training, I look forward to writing God-inspired books for His people. All by His Grace.

Have a blessed weekend ahead.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Honest Scrap Award [1] – You tell me

Is this an award or a meme?

I received this award from Gee and Just Doyin who feel that EROLyrics content or design is brilliant. Thank you Gee and Just Doyin. I tried to dodge it for 2 reasons:

  1. I found it difficult coming up with the 2 truths and 1 lie
  2. I am as open and as honest as I can be on my blogs. I have my pix, a completed profile and 90% of my posts are [sorry] about me.

Well, seeing that I cannot come up with 10 honest things about myself at the moment, let me hand it over to you. Teamwork is the way so we will do 3 things:

  1. Ask me any question you want to ask me. Out of all your questions I will choose 5 at random to answer.
  2. Tell me anything you suspect, perceive or imagine about me. Out of your comments, I will select 5 that are true or interesting and elaborate on them.
  3. Then I will add 2 honest things about myself.

Surely there will be a Part 2 of this post - I have learnt from Nollywood.

Let's see how it goes…

Why is the award called Honest [beautiful word] Scrap [not beautiful word] Award [a rewarding word]? Just wondering.

Have a blessed day ahead.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In the Traffic Jam

I had promised myself I will never live in Lagos, not after encountering several hold ups that have almost made me miss a flight. Well, today I am in Lagos. That was what happened when I took a blogging break.

On one fateful day, I got stuck in a traffic jam. The road was completely blocked. Vehicles were aligned at different angles. There was disorder. Even pedestrians found it difficult wriggling their way through. Bike men could not move. It was that serious. Shouting and complaining was not going to solve anything so like my counterparts, I put off the car and started reading newspaper to pass the time.

About 10 minutes later, out of nowhere, a siren started blowing. I laughed sardonically, wondering how the vehicle would pass. In my heart I prayed it was the governor, so he can experience what others are experiencing (don’t get me wrong, Gov. Fashola is trying well well and I am proud we have someone like him). But to my greatest disappointment, yet amazement, not only did the siren vehicle pass, the whole convoy moved freely. Series of other cars passed and finally a way was made to ease the traffic.

I was mouth agape as this incident happened. How was it possible that they could make a way in that situation?

If man can make a way in such a tight traffic jam, imagine what God will do with situations that seem difficult and impossible?

The statement has roots from the word of God:
Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth...I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. [1]

Why should you believe this word? Simply because God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. [2]

Yes, God will make a way where there seems to be no way. Behold, He is doing a new thing in your life. When it happens, you will say this is a dream come true.

He will make a way in the wilderness, which means He will make a way through the greatest difficulties.

And He will produce waters in the desert. You that once lacked in some area will have in such abundance that you will be a blessing to others. Those people your miracle touched will have reason to honor and praise God.

Nothing is impossible with God [3]. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. [4]

Have a blessed weekend ahead.

Bible References:
[1] Isaiah 43:19 AMP
[2] Numbers 23: 19 NLT
[3] Luke 1:37
[4] Heb 10:23 NLT

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Time To Keep

I remember when she told me about her fiancé. She showed me the gifts he bought. She told me how loving, kind and generous he was. She told me the places he took her to. She told me the pet names he called her. You can’t imagine what it was like seeing them together in public.

I envied the passion and fulfillment in her voice when she spoke about him. He was the man of every woman’s dreams. His acts, as she had listed to me, became the yardstick for judging mine. Mine was nothing close to this man she described. Glaring was the fact that mine did not call me pet names. He had to go.

When shortly afterwards she got married to someone else, I was curious. How could she leave someone who was so perfect? I inquired. It was then the truth came out. He was not so perfect. He had his shortcomings. After hearing in details about the other side of him, I realized that though mine was not perfect, he was a blessing from God. Simply saying kind words to him changed him to an affectionate, lyrically-tongued man.

Many a times, we build our expectations based on what we get from our senses. If only we could see what we have through the eyes of God, we might just realize that we are possessors of God’s great and precious promises. Maybe we’ll become conscious that we have what others want.

Your desire may be “Do something new in my life” while your heart whispers “It is A Time to Keep”.
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven:
...A time to keep and a time to throw away…
Ecclesiastics 3:1; 6b.

Indeed it is a time to keep: relationships with friends or siblings that could be mended; love grown cold due to neglect and hurt yet could be healed, jobs that seem demanding or not up to par yet are God’s gifts; memories of God’s goodness drowned in new expectations; and do I mention admission pending the visa to that school that is a form of escape? The list of things to keep is endless.

The grass on the other side may not always be as green as you hope. After leaving all you had for it, you might turn back to meet a shut door that will not be opened again.

But if you think it is a time to throw away, please speak to a person who longs for what you have.

You may desire something new in your life, but all it might take may be for you to do something new [different] in yourself. Then you will see that what you already have is worth keeping.

Speaking of keeping, your belief and trust in God is one thing to keep at all times. Keep your hope and faith alive and set your mind on Him, for He is faithful that promised [1]. Keep your relationship with Him alive because His love has been the only love that never hurts you or leaves a door shut in front of you. Because of the joy awaiting Jesus Christ, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame [2]. That joy was simply the joy of your acceptance and faith in him, the joy that grace, reconciliation and salvation will come to you.

Happy Easter! Enjoy God’s Sweet, Sacrificial, Unconditional and Unfailing Love.

Please note: This post does not suggest that if you are facing a situation that is detrimental to your physical, spiritual or emotional well being, that you should stay in it. It just might be for you “A Time to Throw Away”.

Bible References
[1] Hebrews 10:23b
[2] Hebrews 12: 2b paraphrased.

Monday, April 6, 2009

60km/hr on Third Mainland Bridge

We started our journey to the Murtala Mohammed airport, Lagos. I noticed that the bus was moving slowly. I wondered why. Was the bus having problems or was the driver waiting for another vehicle or did he want to prevent his bus from being hit? I kept on wondering while we were still in Victoria Island. But when we mounted the Third Mainland Bridge and we were still at the same speed, I became very concerned. The road was free - there was no traffic jam. I looked back; the luggage bus was behind us. We were not waiting for anyone. Bikes and taxis were now overtaking us. At this point, I could not keep my concerns to myself.

“Driver, why are you driving so slowly? Do you know we have a plane to catch today?”

“Aunty Rita, I cannot drive more than 60km/hr. Is it not one oyibo man that came and said we should not drive more than 70km/hr? If I drive more than 60, I don’t know when it will enter 70 and I will be sacked as soon as I enter 70. Please allow me to drive at 60…”

While the other passengers complained about the speed and why the company had changed the speed limit, I had to keep quiet. I slowly nodded with understanding as I flashed back a few weeks.

They were not there when our bus fell into a gutter because of speed. They were not there when the bus almost crushed another vehicle because of the rough driving. No, they were not there when we remained stranded for hours in the traffic while the patrol van tried to pull us out. The expatriates just arriving Nigeria were so scared because of the exposure. I am sure they felt they could become victims of all they had heard in the news about Niger Delta.

Most times when laws are given, it is for our own good. We should not focus of the consequences of disobeying but rather understand the benefits of obeying.

I am sure this incident was in response to my inner questions such as “Why are there so many ‘Thou shalt nots’?” “Why love your enemy and forgive someone who hurt you terribly?” “Why will some things be so pleasurable yet feel or be so wrong?” Eavesdropping on the law makers in my organization, I have realized that some of the laws they made were because people lost their lives or property in some preventable incidences. Sometimes, there has been bloodshed before the laws were made. Suddenly, I had a glimpse of what God plans for us.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, plans to give you the future you hope for [1].

That is why He gave us His guiding principles contained in His word. And He instructs us thus, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do” [2].

I love the prosper and succeed part but had questioned why there is a meditate and obey part. But as I continue this journey, I have to stop questioning and obey. I pray for the day I will utter “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart" [3].

Have you ever wondered why there are do’s and don’ts? Why the ten commandments? Have you ever been concerned about laws? What thoughts have you come up with? For me, I am not asking again, not after realizing that “He did not put His laws to harm me or to deny me pleasure, but to protect me and give me peace”.

And I thank God for His Grace that remains with us even while we fall into temptation. However as we acknowledge that we have His grace, may we not take it for granted.

Have a blessed and fruitful week ahead.

Bible References
[1] Jeremiah 29:11 (Mixture of AMP and MSG versions)
[2] Joshua 1:8 (NLT)
[3] Psalms 40:8 (NLT)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Missed The Bus

Sometimes when we do not have some things, nay, people, opportunities, or when what seemed like it was perfect walks away from us, we feel disappointed. It is human. But if we wait just a little while, we will see that something better is on the way. HE is never too late.

When I am away from my location, I usually get very nice treatment.

On this beautiful morning, I prepared to go to the passport office in Lagos. I asked my office for a driver by 7a.m. Based on past experience, I was assured that driver will be there on time. I was busy taking my time with make-up when I heard the sound of our company’s mini-bus drive in. I looked at my watch. 7a.m. on the dot. I rushed down to ask the driver to give me 5 more minutes to finish make-up and get dressed, but when I got down, he was no where to be seen. I relaxed and continued with make-up.

4 minutes later, I heard the bus driving off. Gosh! I clutched tightly my unbuttoned blouse and almost twisted my ankle as I sped down the stairs with my high heel shoes. My intention was to stop the driver at least at the gate. By the time I reached the gate, I could see the driver zooming off. No matter how loud I shouted, the driver could not hear me – thanks to AC’ed buses. I felt disappointed.

Sometimes we struggle to keep "it" from going away, using the most of what we have.

There was a gateman who saw me running, shouting and beckoning yet did not help me stop the driver. To add salt and pepper to my disappointment, the gateman calmly said, “5 after 7, the guy is gone. He does not wait for anyone. This bus is not for you...”
“What!” I exclaimed in annoyance.
“It was not meant for you”.

I slowly started walking back to my room, swallowing a sigh and blaming myself.

Sometimes, when "it" goes away, we wallow in regret.

I tried to look at the brighter side to it. I had more time to continue dressing up:-). I was about calling the office to tell them what had happened when a sleek Honda Accord 2008 Model, silvery-grey in color, pulled up beside me.

“Are you Rita?” The driver asked.
I nodded.
“I am here to take you to the passport office. Sorry I am late. Please let me know if you need more time to make up before you leave…’
Unbelievable! I thought.

This story may seem insignificant to you, but I tell you, something happened to me that day. It clearly dawned on me that when something goes away, there is something better waiting out there for us. It is left for us to open our hearts and eyes for yet another opportunity. My heart suddenly understood that God can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we ask or think [1]. And then, during my journey to the passport office, I had time to reflect on many situations where disappointments turned out to be blessings.

I don’t know what "it" might be to you or whether you’ve ever heard the words “it wasn’t meant for you” in one phrase or the other. The words could have been as consolations from a heart break, the loss of an unborn child, a partner you once thought was perfect, a job you thought was the job of your dreams, an opportunity that came so close you thought it was “it”, or your hopes shattered once again. All I am saying to you is if you could just trust Him once more, give Him a little benefit of doubt, believe that He turns disappointments into blessing and realize that He wants the best only for you, in a little while, you will see that blessing right in front of you – a blessing beyond your expectations.

And if you have experienced a disappointment eventually becoming a blessing, please share.

Enjoy a blessed rest of the week.

Bible References
[1] Ephesians 3:20