Posts Tagged ‘31 days 31 writers’

The end of 2015. The end of the #31Days31Writers series.

I’m here. I’m still here. In April God delivered my family from a great evil, I was very ill at different times; on the 18th of October I was aboard a flight so turbulent I was walking ‘towards the light’ in my head, yet I’m here. I’m still here. God is merciful.

You know, if for some reason that’s all I could write, it would be more than enough. There’s more though.

My father was consecrated Bishop this year – was the first time ever I saw him cry. Like really cry. He fought tears at my sister’s wedding in 2010, maybe a few tears slipped through, but August 8th? Dang. I’m so proud of him and grateful to God for this lifting and fulfilment of prophecy that looked like we wouldn’t see it.

TechHer was born this year too, my pride and joy, and gift from God. From a ‘how do I plug this hole’ moment of frustration, to a community of women passionate/curious about technology in its hundreds, and growing too!

My sister passed an international exam this year, and I remember the joy, the tears, the celebration. So proud of you Mama na, we all are! You are a gem, and I love you, fiercely. Big hug to you and your amazing husband for housing me this year. My family is everything, and I’m grateful for them everyday.

What else? This was the year of leaning on, and getting leaned on. Brethren, pray for friends who can ‘cover your shame’, who are not just there when it’s time to ‘turn up’. More important, pray that you are the person the people you call friends can come to and find peace, quiet, a word of encouragement, action that leads to a solution, you get the point. Wunmi, my best friend, is a blessing; she’s my gift from God. Francesca saw through my bullshit one afternoon when I wouldn’t stop saying I was fine, yet I was crumbling under a feeling of inadequacy I can only trace to the pit of hell now that I think of it. My personal chekeleke!

Here’s a big hug to The Committee, friends who have become family in more ways than one. You guys rock!

This was the year I took a decision about my weight, and though I’m still on a journey to the numbers I want to see, I love where I am! I feel incredible too!

Also, I cut my hair! Not the ‘big chop’, big scrape, for simple reasons that included the unbearable heat, and me wanting to see what my head looked like! Love it, love it, love it! Looking forward to experimenting with it a lot in the New Year.

I hired staff this year, and I’m excited that 7 months on, I see growth that makes me proud. Thank you guys!the

What would I undo this year? Nothing. Maybe make more practical financial plans and not believe that people will fulfil their obligations (read as pay their bloody debts) so it doesn’t skew my programmes, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I learned a few things too:

  1. God loves me. Even in my most unfaithful, most unlovable moments, He loves me. And He shows it.
  2. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I heard that like a million times this year (SMH at everyone who told me :))
  3. Human beings are inherently selfish. A complete understanding of this (and I’m still learning) helped me get through the year.
  4. It’s ok to stop (shut down, turn off, whatever you want to call it) and breathe sometimes. I learned the importance of stopping to rest as my body (and mind) demanded it.
  5. Everyone needs a nephew! I cannot explain this, just go and ask your siblings to ‘bring’ you one! My nephew is my numero uno (next to God jor, walk away)
  6. Read! I didn’t read all I planned to, but I read this year, and I believe I’m better for it.
  7. It’s okay if things don’t work out, even after you’ve done everything you were supposed to do, prayed, worked hard, etc. It’s okay, really.

I had a good year. This was one of my busiest travel-wise, and each time a plane I was in took off, it landed. Not taking that for granted at all. I have this blog, and all you wonderful people who read and like and share and comment – thank you. To everyone who contributed to the #31Days31Writers series, you’re awesome! To those who said they’d send in an entry and didn’t/couldn’t, there’s next time.

Here’s to a big 2016, enlargement on every side (not my girth though, God no), advancement, and God’s great blessings.

Look at that beautiful head...

Look at that beautiful head…

Nigerian Blogger

Happy New Year folks! Mwah!

 

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This particular person? I don’t remember how we met. Like I tried to search my brain this morning, no luck. But, she’s one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Francesca is the angel God sent from heaven to save me from myself, yank me out of self-pity, stress, fear, you name it. Fran is the person who will listen to me complaining about something and in the middle of my well-prepared speech will go, “but Chisco I reject this feeling of sadness in the mighty name of Jesus!” I either start laughing (I think it’s something with the way she pronounces ‘Jesus’ when she’s trying to shut me up), or I start crying because I’m overwhelmed. But she never leaves me there. She will sit with me (even if over the phone), and be quiet with me till I’m better, or till she decides she’s had enough then she’ll go back to bullying me!!

Lol. I love her. Few females I really love (or love at all), and she’s one of them. Everyone needs a friend like her. Someone who you can be silly with, who accepts you the way you are (and loves you intensely), who prays for/with you, who is real. That’s it, Onomarie (and I can never say this name right) is real.

2015 was the year I learned not to be afraid. Pause.

That’s not entirely true. Let me rephrase that.

2015 was the year I learnt to face my fears, confront AND overcome them.

You see, I’d often viewed “facing fear” as something soft or abstract – not overly ground-shifting or life-altering. The loss of a job maybe, a bad breakup, or an uncomfortable confrontation; you know, difficult things, but not really life and death.

Well. Let’s just say life happened.

I lost my father on the 2nd of January 2015, and in many ways it is still a shock, almost unbelievable actually. That swift, sudden, brutal and absolutely painful event shattered every single thing in my life. I hated God, life, my immediate family, my late father (God rest his soul), and everybody else I came in contact with. I was seething with this volcanic-like rage; just bitter, angry, lost, grieving and waiting to erupt. I wanted to colour the world black, because that is how my soul felt – dark and odious. Like Job said in the Bible, “the thing I feared most had come upon me.”

But fear (and grief) are heavy burdens to carry; they poison everything they come in contact with. So I had to make a (hard) decision – to keep moving, or to let my grief (and fear) consume me. My father may have died, but I was still living. I owed it to his memory, and more importantly, to myself, to live wholesomely and completely. As long as I had breath in my lungs, dreams in my heart, and yearning in my spirit, I would keep living, and by God, I would keep moving forward.

So I reset myself – my soul, my mind, and my spirit – not an easy task to do by the way. I cried when I had to, (still do that sometimes). I learned to share my grief, my questions, my angst, my concerns, with my friends and burden-helpers, those who upheld me like pillars, people who fought tirelessly to move me out of the funk. Those who gave me tough love by saying “Okay, that’s enough, no more now.” Those who sent messages of hope, encouragement and humour, those who stood in the gap for me, who prayed, sent me food, or just sat with me.

It’s been an incredible year really. I lost my father, but I gained an incredible perspective on life. I learned that family is less and less those who bear the same surname with you, but much more about those who share your grief and your triumphs. I learned that putting someone you love in the ground, is one of the worst things that can happen to you, but maybe also the most important, because you value more, those you have with you. I’ve learned to be less patient with time-wasters; people who take and take from you – your time, your energy, your resources, your emotions, – without giving back. I’ve learned to immerse myself fully in life, to laugh, to learn, to travel, to love, by God, to live!! I’ve learned to live this life honestly, completely, fully, but also intentionally. Never before, have I been this desperate to accomplish God’s call and purpose for my life. Never before have I cared less about “haters” or “enemies” what are those? Only distractions. Only pesky scarecrows in my rich field of wheat and barley.

I have learned that fear is there to be overcome; you must not let it rule you. Fear is not of God, it’s from the devil. I have learned to look fear in the eye and say “ehen, you’ve hit me with your best shot, now fuck off!.” I have learned to stand. Oh! to stand and keep standing. I have learned to stand victoriously. I have learned focus and the beauty of rising up from ashes.

I have learned that my scars are my greatest assets; that instead of reminding me of the past and filling me with regret, that they point me towards the future, towards the woman I am meant to be, towards the woman I am becoming. I have learned love – that it is ABSOLUTELY about giving – anything less than that, is jive. I have found God again, anew, different, deeper. I am listening for Him more, involving Him with everything – from the mundane to the important. Oh! And I am still fighting fear, daily – in my work, in my mind, in my spirit, but I am winning, because I am of God’s I CANNOT lose.

I don’t know exactly what 2016 has in store for me, but I imagine that it will be a year of achieving big goals and dreams. I’m standing ready. As the Yoruba proverb goes: “there is nothing coming from the sky that the earth cannot handle.” That is me, standing ready, standing prepared, because the earth is mine and the fullness thereof. Bring it on 2016!

My gorgeous friend...

My gorgeous friend…

I love you chekeleke. My sister-girl!

I’ve got family on the blog today! Whoop!!

Ejike is one of my older cousins, married to a really lovely lady, and they have two children with the best names (he didn’t share so I won’t… we don’t want you people to copy our names biko)!

His father is one of my favorite uncles and is super close to my dad, and I have very fond memories of hanging out at their house in the village when we were much younger. Not just my siblings and I, all the cousins! I remember bathing behind a massive metal tank in their compound (don’t judge, we were kids) with my female cousins, and all of us trooping out on Christmas Day to visit extended family to ‘tax them’, eat, play, and then move on. Most times we’d end up back at their house for dinner (which we would funnily end up eating outside, gisting as loudly as children can be), bathing (girls first, then the boys), then trooping to another uncle’s (or not) to sleep.

Memories I hope we can recreate with our own children. Dunno how yet, but I know it’s possible, even if it’s summer holidays or something like that. 

Maybe one of the next time I run the series I will feature only Agwuegbo’s, maybe call it ‘One day one Agwuegbo’, or An Agwuegbo a day’, I don’t know but I’m loving the idea already! And there’s enough of us to really pull this off!

Here’s my cousin Ejike everyone!

I’m Ejike Agwuegbo, Ibo descent, raised in Lagos. I’m married to an amazing wife and have 2 lovely children as part of the marriage benefits. I am a Fish Farmer by profession.

As the year 2015 winds down, one philosophy that keeps me going is “No man should measure his success by comparing with another man but by comparison with where he’s coming from”.

I am grateful for my immediate and extended family. The year has brought unimaginable joy into my home. In October we welcomed our son into world without complications. My 3 years old daughter is excelling in her studies. My amazing wife who has been my rock in all circumstances waxed stronger all through the year churning out different business ideas. Most importantly, we didn’t spend our resources in the hospital. Those who know me will testify that I’ve got the best siblings in the world and they made 2015 rock.

Having left the banking industry after 6 years of service to set up my Fish Farm in 2014, I must say the journey hasn’t been easy (as is the case with most start-ups) but in 2015 we achieved some expansion, modified our processes and have recorded greater returns.

I’m grateful for my close circle of friends who I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world. While the world is on a melt down, there’s virtually no month that goes by without something to celebrate.

Things I wish to undo;

Reneging on my vow to draw closer to God and His Word. Sunday sermons are just not enough.

As 2016 draws closer, I ask for the grace to help more people in need than I did this year and believe that more business ideas will be actualized.

Thank you Chioma for this opportunity to express myself.

 

Big bro!

Big bro!

Whoop! You’re welcome AGK, thank you for honoring my blog! Here’s to bigger successes in 2016 and many more reasons to celebrate!

PS: I have to come eat fish at yours soonest!

Awwww, I really like Tony! I remember meeting him at church once (House on The Rock The Refuge), but I don’t remember if that was the first time we met or if we’d met before. I also know he called me on my birthday this year, whoop! And he has a brother in the Army, who is on the frontlines of this fight against Boko Haram. Kai, I don’t know if I would be able to sleep at night ever if my brother was in the Army… then if he was in the Army and actually fighting! My poor heart. I’m just grateful his brother is fine, and ask that we all keep him in our prayers please?

Tony’s entry is lovely, really lovely, and then it’s so powerful, like punchline after punchline! It resonates with me in a lot of ways and encourages me in a lot of ways, and I know it will do just that for you too.

My name is Tony Atambi. I’m Nigerian (proudly so). I’m a lawyer who currently lives and works in Abuja; also a Christian gentleman.

As with every other person, at the beginning of the year 2015, I was all pumped up and ready to go. Felt like new vistas had been opened up to me and I was just going to cruise through. You know that feeling I speak about.

Errrm…Let’s just say as the year went on, motivation waned far too many times, I felt like I was stuck in a rut far too many times, not knowing with the slightest precision what to do next with my life. And so there were quite a number of times where, as a result of the worry arising from life not being in motion, I slid into depression.

Flowing from the above is the first major lesson I learnt in 2015;

  • Motion doesn’t equate progress. If you have ever tied motion (being up and about for up and about sake) with progress, you might wanna discard that thought. It is not valid. Being busy is simply what it is – Busy. Busy doesn’t necessarily mean progress. The guy trying to empty the Atlantic Ocean is busy but he will never make any progress.

On closer examination of my thoughts, I realized that I just wanted to be busy, regardless of whether it was productive or not. It pays sometimes to take a break and ask if you’re just running around or getting productive.

  • I learnt that my fears are not necessarily valid. In fact, I dare say fears are not valid. The fact that you fear something doesn’t confer it with the capacity to happen. There is no truth about fear. You fear what may or could happen. Yet it is never certain. So I find that sometimes, the things we fear are things we should really confront.

I’m immediately reminded of my brother who is fighting the insurgents in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. I used to be so afraid for his life, especially when we are inundated daily with stories of soldiers who are either missing or dead. But I realized that each time I call him, he’s always available to take my calls. So the fact that I feared that something could happen to him doesn’t mean it did happen. Discard your fears. They are not valid.

Plus, nobody became a great success because they feared, anyway.

  • Most importantly, I learnt to be thankful to The One who has the master plan and to trust in that master plan. I’m a firm believer in the plan that God has for our lives. I didn’t see clearly, everything He has planned out. But this year, I took my trust in God a notch higher.

There are an array of things I’m grateful for. But here are a few.

  • Peace of mind. The outgoing year brought along a few storms but in the midst of it all, I had the peace that could only have come from a supernatural place. God, actually. And so even when it seemed like the world was going to come crashing down on me, peace flooded my heart like a river.
  • I’m grateful for the beauty of falling in love (yeah, this is my emotional side) and being loved in return. 2015 brought along to me, a certain amazing lady and Lord knows, I’m in love. Baby, if you can see this, you know I love you to tiny little bits.
  • I’m grateful for second chances to start again. God has given me far too many of them. I wouldn’t give me that much grace if I was God. LOL.
  • I’m grateful for the grace to always speak a word in season that blesses someone. Every now and then, I put out tweets that serve to minister to and encourage people. I get very positive feedback all the time. In my little corner, God has used me to bring His word to people. He takes all the glory.

One thing I’d undo in 2015 is stalling the execution of a few plans. But hey…2016 is right around the corner and I hope to reach for higher accomplishments. We can now clink glasses and drink to an even more amazing 2016!

tony atambi

What a gentleman! Unfortunately ladies, this one here’s taken! Here’s to an amazing 2016 Tony, please invite us to eat jollof rice next year o, God bless you!

Demola the politician. Demola the PDP guy. Those are probably the bits of Demola the world (read as young Nigerians within and outside the country) know. I know a Demola who loves history, who can quote Nigerian history from here till tomorrow and not make a mistake. From this post, you’ll meet a Demola who’s head over heels for his family, and his entry (very quiet but laden with wisdom) is a joy for me to share today.

This time last year, my son was just few weeks old and since then, I’ve watched him grow and learn. And I have learnt as well… seeing the world as he sees it, seeing him struggle to understand the nature of things as they are – that a ball rolls but a remote control won’t/can’t. That the flick of a switch can flood a room with light, that a bed doesn’t make a good place to walk but the floor isn’t good for rolling around either. That my phone cannot be chewed and that every morning he has to get his body washed, though he doesn’t like it. He’s learning the nature of things and the laws that govern them and I have also learnt.

I’ve learnt more about the nature of men – that people are often who they show themselves to be, not what you imagine them to be. That who they are is often obvious but emotions blind us to their reality. I’ve learnt to work more with my instincts about people and not question those instincts.

I’m grateful for relationships and the doors they opened this year. Grateful for life, for love, for friendships and for family. I find it hard to be grateful most times about life because there’s always so much more I want it to yield to me so I should be grateful for this chance to write about my gratitude.

Let me think for a minute please.

I am grateful for my son. He’s moved to being the centre of my world in the most amazing ways – no matter how things upset me on the outside, I only have to think of his unflappable spirit and I smile. The woman who takes care of him is the woman in my life – that’s my wife is also another reason to be grateful. She’s understanding and very tolerating of my excesses. I’m not the easiest person to live with but she has managed to cope with me.

All life for me is an experience and there is little I would undo if I could but I could have done some things better this year. I’m one of those who believe it is up to me if things will be or not – like if Arsenal loses a football match and I did not watch it, I think they lost because I did not watch. I had a small chance to play a small part in the last presidential elections and I saw my party make mistakes. I truly believed we had the better candidate, I truly believed our platform was the best for the country. I shouted, but I could have shouted harder. I fought but I could have fought more. I could have challenged those who assumed we would win as we always do – but perhaps I too was guilty of thinking that our candidate would do all it took to win, unlike he had promised to do.

In a way, that loss turned out to be a good thing – I’ve learnt now to fight harder to make my views known in any political setting and not succumb to prevalent wisdom. I’m more convinced about the things I suggested – a victory would have meant my methodology wasn’t necessary but now I know it was and better? My party knows too.

I would also have loved to have published a couple of books this year – one written already on my laptop so if you’re reading this and think you’re into publishing: holler.

2015 has been a great year as I reflect on it and I’m hopeful of a greater 2016.

IMG_4034

Awww, so cute how you talk about your son and your wife, family is precious and I’m all about that! I’m also excited about the new dispensation with a new party in power, big hopes and prayers for Nigeria because it either works or it doesn’t, for all of us. 

Thank you Demola for sharing today, most appreciated!

Turn up! We’ve successfully started inching towards the end of the second week of this #31Days31Writers series! God is a good God! Whoop! Big thank you to everyone who’s sent in an entry, left a comment, liked a post, shared on social media, thank you!

Isioma is a kind of kindred spirit to be honest… I see some of her tweets and my heart sings. We’ve never met, but I know I like her, and will like her even more if we ever meet. And she’s manager to the darlings of the film industry and each time I see her tweet about them, I just imagine they must be great, easy-to-relate-with kind of people to have her as manager.

So I saw Isioma share one of the articles from this series, and I sent her a private message asking if she would send an entry in herself. I think I got it in 30 minutes or something miraculous like that! Shaking my head at people I’ve been following for almost two years to send in their pieces!

I’ll let you get to it… I like this one!

2015 has been a year of thanksgiving, it has not been perfect and sometimes it was difficult and frustrating but overall it has been a win. In November I walked away from a pretty serious car accident. Everyone who saw the pictures of the wreck told me how lucky or blessed I was. That accident summed up my year beautifully. You see I am wonderfully and fearfully made and therefore I cannot be broken. Bent and bruised, but never broken.

My name is Isioma Osaje and I’m a child of God. I’m Nigerian, resident in Lagos, and own a company called Agency 106 Talents & Company Limited. I’m a Talent Manager/Film Producer.

2014 was challenging professionally and personally and I knew that things had to give. At the end of 2014, I told God I wanted to know Him better and live the life He had ordained for me. At the beginning of 2015 I went on a purge of sorts. I asked God to rid me of everything that was a distraction from my purpose, and boy did He go to town. I am by no means the most successful version of myself, but I’ve grown. It is refreshing to look back on the woman I was in 2014 and the one I am today.

My blessings and lessons from 2015

Blessings

  1. I nurtured my spirit. I fed my spirit with the word of God religiously and made it a point of duty to spend at least an hour every day in fellowship with God. My principle this year was to improve myself, so I constantly analyzed the things about me that worked and those that need a little help. I’m imperfect and always will be, but I will never stop trying to be a better version of me.
  2. I made my passion legitimate and registered my company. I’m in the business of making Kings and Queens. God has been faithful; people actually know my name and what I do!! Also my people have grown in leaps and bounds and the promise of 2016 has me so excited.
  3. I became a voice. It has always been my dream to motivate and inspire people and in 2015, I finally began to do this via social media. I’ve received several calls and messages from people who read my tweets and were blessed.
  4. I have the best support system and I am grateful for the people in my life who give it meaning.
  5. God loves me and everything I touch shall be blessed.

Lessons

  1. I learned that people are flawed. They will disappoint you and it is okay. I ditched a handful of users, because carrying people who do not add anything to your life is an unnecessary hassle.
  2. Life goes on. As far as clichés go this is the most cliché statement of the lot and yet it is the most valid. No matter what is going on in your sphere of existence, life will not stop until you figure it out. At best you can call for a timeout, but you will have to get back into the ring and continue fighting.
  3. Anonymity works, but some things in life require a face. I do not like or enjoy being in the public eye and if left to my own devices you would only ever know the name. Unfortunately we live in a world that is pretty jaded and people may sometimes need to see that you’re real to buy into your vision. Enjoy or at least learn to tolerate the spotlight.
  4. I am happiest when I help people achieve their dreams, so I was constantly supporting anything and everyone. This in the long run is counter-productive because you only have so much to give. In 2015 I learned to differentiate between acquaintances, friends and others. I still give 100% of myself to anything or anyone I’m committed to, but I learned the hard way to only commit myself to people who ask and will appreciate it and to causes that leave me blessed.
  5. GOD is enough. Trust in Him and He will give you everything that you need.

IMG_20151121_101351

Yes Mami, God is enough! I can’t even find the words to do a recap because I feel I will just repost the entire article! Thank you Isioma for writing in, and here’s to a fabulous 2016!

Whoop! Our entry for today is a very dear friend who is using our hearts to do ‘tumbom tumbom’ by moving between Lagos and Abuja (don’t worry my dear you’re coming back next year)!

Tilly and I have been friends since 2008, and moved from Aso Radio to the working for the Queen (BBC World Service Trust, now Media Action) together. We’ve spent happy and sad times together, and have enjoyed many a turnup together! I’m excited that she’s on the blog today, and hope you enjoy her piece as much as I did!

I haven’t found the appropriate words to describe my year thus far. When it started, I had no resolutions nor defined plans. At the time, I was freelancing at a company where I was working for next to nothing but its attendant experience. A few friends thought I was crazy but for me it was also a period of penance -my Catholic background may have influenced this thought.

You see, I had made a judgement call late last year that cost me dearly and in Pharisee-like manner of over two thousands years past, I was handed over to be judged and I fell short. For a while I battled with self-doubt but had to  perfect the facade of ‘….’ Fortunately, my absolution came in form of a doppelgänger and she is one of the many things I am thankful for as I write. She’s fast become a mentor and friend. My confidence level now nko (you may ask), well it’s shooting through the ozone level!

I am thankful for my family; Iya Wale, Engineer, Wale, Lyna, Daniel & Daniela as well as Phil. We started the year in good health of mind and body, still are in top form and are confident in God that we will end the year happy and healthy.

I am also thankful for the realisation that my simplicity is my crown and my cross. I struggled for a while to accept this as I was often taken for granted but knowing how powerful it can be, I count this gift more than once when counting my blessings.

I am most grateful for my friends and acquaintances, too numerous to mention but especially for these two:
1. Okechukwu Jake Effoduh who has been my trusted partner, friend, cheerleader, style consultant and more rolled into one for many years. Those who know him will understand the depth of pride and admiration that fills my heart to be blessed with such a friend who is not only selfless but also grows in leaps and bounds daily.  Though we don’t see often, the expression “outta sight is outta mind” doesn’t resonate with us. #NuffSaid

2.  Omolola Faleye: her resilience and generosity I am in awe of. She’s been my guardian angel and I am thankful for her everyday and thrice on Sunday!😊

I am thankful for the unions of friends and births witnessed this year: for Big Mo and Willie; Franque and Oyin; Akin and Jola, Tega and Tracey – to mention a few.

I regret time spent second-guessing myself and a few epic moments when I didn’t tell someone off; they earnestly deserved it! For 2016, I wish and will work towards more laughter, a consistent walk with Christ, opportunities to travel the world and write, but most of all, ataraxia unlimited.

I am thankful for the ability to write this post for my dearest friend, Chico on my cracked-screen phone with 11% battery power on a hot night warding off mosquitoes, it means I can still feel something despite the tiredness that grips my body after a long day at a job I am most thankful for.

Laughter... Gorgeous girl...

Laughter… Gorgeous girl…

I think I took this picture!! I should consider photography as an alternate source of income, whatchu think?

I think I took this picture!! I should consider photography as an alternate source of income, whatchu think?

My gorgeous, happy friend! Here’s to a fabulous 2016, full of great joy, the fulfilment of all our hearts desires, and lots of egg on the faces of our enemies!

Mwah!

 

Brethren!

I’m super excited with the entry for today!

Now, Pearl and I have never met, and I was going to make her wedding but something came up and I wasn’t even in the country around that time, talk of the state.

The first thing you notice about Pearl is her smile. Alive and breathing, with her gorgeous white teeth! I feel like she can never be offended, she’s always smiling! She’s also one of those Christians who absolutely love the Lord, but don’t beat you over the head with it. I really really like her!

Her entry is beautiful, and I won’t keep you from it a moment longer.

 

Achuna ife uwa n’ike. Nwayo bu ije. Ebe onye oso ruru, onye ije g’eru kwa. Onye buru Chi ya uzo, ogba gbuo onwe ya n’oso. (Do not chase the things of the world with all your strength. Take life easy. He who runs and he who walks will get to wherever they are going, but if you go ahead of your God, you don do yourself be that.)

My name is Pearl Ijeoma Allison. I am completely Nigerian; omo Igbo, born in Hausa land and married to a Yoruba man. I presently work as a confidential secretary/administrative official and I live the in the ever-bubbly city of Lagos. I love Lagos, even with all her wahala. I share my thoughts on life through my eyes on this here page http://olorungemstone.com/

2015 was an incredibly interesting and amazing year. My Year of Indescribable Joy . . . but there can be no joy if one has not known sorrow. I have known sorrow, anxiety, fear and depression. Times when I wondered why I was still holding on and why I thought I needed to keep going. What was the point of it all?

Achuna ife uwa níke. . .

God wanted me to take my focus off those things and put it on Him. But as a headstrong omo nna who had to fend for herself, I kept trying to sort things out on my own or worry them away.

Why worry when you can pray?

He came through for me despite and in spite of Ijeoma standing in her own way. Everyday I’m learning to trust His promises, learning that they are not just words but TRUTH. Truth that I get to live out every minute.

I learned that God is faithful and some humans are very much like Him! My friends showed themselves strong on my behalf this year. God has surrounded me with faithful, diligent and trustworthy people. I am grateful most especially for my husband, amazing, amazing man! No bias, I swear.

I’m very grateful for the experiences I had this year. I don’t think I’ve had any year as eventful as this one. A wedding is definitely a big enough event, but there was also a relocation, a shaking, a moving & an uprooting.

One day I will write about these things…

I hurt my best friend and her family this year. Yeah, it was unintentional and all and I wish to God that it had never happened. I regret it deeply. We were able to make it through the hurt, pain and disaster by God’s grace and I think we made it through stronger than before. That’s how lasting, unbending relationships are forged; people who will stand with you through the good times and most especially through the bad.

Pearle-and-Adams-White-Wedding-2658If I could relive that, there’s definitely a number of things I’d love to change about the whole saga but we live and we learn. The other thing I’d love to relive is my wedding day, it was a deadly day! I really never esperredit. Lol. I’d love for my wedding reception to have just been dance, dance, dance! My brother in law’s band killed it that day men! You should have been there.

😉

Pearl Allison

I’m looking forward to 2016. I hope to live out everything I’ve learned and to take life easy. There’s so much more to this life and I want to live it to the fullest.

God bless you.

God bless you too sweetheart, and here’s hearty cheers to the new year!

Tessa’s on today, and her post is one that invokes memories for me, and I’m sure for everyone else who has ever lost someone. Her voice is one of thanksgiving though, and it is a charge to us that even on the days when we just want to curl up in a ball and moan, we can (and should be) thankful. Harder than it sounds I know, but doable.

I am writing the 30 days of gratitude challenge and even though I don’t feel perfect inside me, I realise that I don’t have to feel perfect to give thanks.

Why don’t I feel perfect?

I am still getting used to the fact that my dad is gone.

My daddy died on the 1st of October in the early hours of the morning.

I didn’t think I would cry but I did and I grieve but in spite of that I’m grateful for his life and that he got his chance to make his peace with God.

Life without God is not a walk in the park. I’m writing on my way to church. I’m thankful to God that he got a glimpse of God even if he didn’t get to walk closely with God.

I am thankful for my family. For love, for life, for God’s grace and favour. I’m thankful for the victories that we have gotten and more to come.

I’m thankful of all things for the relationship I have with God, even though I’ve not been talking much to Him, just listening. I’ve not gotten my bearings yet.

In spite of my silence, God is still good, I keep seeing His hand around me, even in things I didn’t pray about. I am kind of low on compassion these days cause I am looking out for yours truly.

I am thankful for the new year and this one. It would be interesting to see how we cope without our dad and who he was to us. I am confident though that God is not going anywhere, he remains in the midst of us, lifting, guiding, protecting, defending and leading us and most of all, I am confident he has good thoughts for us.

Nothing prepared me for this but I believe it’s the right time. It happened at the time that God allowed. I’m stretched on all sides trying to be everything for my family members and failing.

Now, from this moment, I surrender it all to God, He is the One who knows how to take care of us all, all the aspects of our lives, and most especially, our inner man, He knows how to soothe the hurts, how to work through the pain, pierce between soul and Spirit and bring peace and calm, he knows how to sort between friend and foe and bring helpers, Jonathan’s, sent by God.

He knows how to take off the pressure and lead beside the still waters, so even though I weep, I’m grateful for new things.

I trust God to make a way in the wilderness and bring streams in the deserts.

So in all the awesome things that have happened and in the passing of our father, the One God gave, I give thanks.

O Give thanks to the Lord, his mercies endureth forever.

First off, my most profound condolences on your dad…it is well with you. Receive strength and comfort from The One who gives and gives and gives. Plenty hugs, your family’s in my thoughts and prayers.

Second, I envy your relationship with God, seriously I do! And I trust Him for grace for myself to be able to lean on Him completely. 

Day six already! Whoop! God is great!

Right, so who’s on today? It’s Titi!! I’ve known her for a few years now, from my days at the BBC. She’s been producer, scriptwriter, director, kai, you name it! One of my favorite things about ‘working for the Queen’ was the number of skills we all had to pick up. Like it was an aberration to only be able to do one thing, and I’m better for it.

When Titi sent in her entry, it resonated with me, especially when she talked about Northern Nigeria because I spent a good number of my formative years there, and I hate what it’s become no thanks to the insurgency and wanton destruction going on there. Sigh.

Anyway, let’s get on to Titi’s entry!

My name is Titilayo Olamide Margaret. A few people call me Maggie, very few call me TOMA and a lot of people call me Tai Tai or Tintin lion. I am a graduate of English and Drama but as at the time I went to get my certificate, my department decided to adopt a new name and so I am forced to say I am a graduate of Theatre and Performing Arts from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. I live in Zaria, Kaduna state.

2015 . . . . hmmmmm, a year to always remember. I am thankful for a million things that I am sure I can’t remember some. But what stands out most in my head is the fact that I am thankful for life and the spirit to let go.

With the elections in 2015, a lot of apprehension about the outcome permeated the air especially for us living in the North. The fear became real when each day we saw people clearing their houses to return to their villages for fear of the aftermath of the elections. But today, I am grateful that it all ended well.

I am grateful for the lives of everyone around me, 2015 despite all its economic strains, insurgency and fears, and I am thankful that we never had to deal with anything greater than us.

Most importantly, I am grateful for the spirit to let go….. I laugh a lot, play a lot and open to people but I am also a me person. I hold on to a lot of things especially the negatives and I might not say it out, I keep it in me and keep on chewing on it in my heart. This year, I told myself I will not hold anyone or any event responsible for whatever or wherever I find myself. I have learnt and been able to let go of all the aches, the hurts, the bitterness and disappointments that life has thrown at me and I have drummed and believed in my mantra, ‘I have not given anyone or anything the power to ruin my joy’.

My name Titilayo means joy for ever and I am living and determined to live my life in total joy.

What I will do differently, love more, do more for those around me and keep on making people especially children around smile and be happy for as long as I can.

What I will undo if I can is the choices I made in holding unto those that hurt me. Doing that did not made me better and at least I am glad that I am still friends with them.

Titi

Amen to letting go of people who have hurt us, such a powerful, lightening message to carry into the new year. I know I have some letting go to do too… Thank you for sharing Titi!

By the way Titi, so which is it now? Do I graduate into calling you Toma or Tai Tai or Tintin lion? Choose, or I will choose for you!

PS: Amen to your joy lasting forever! Big amen!