Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Good people of the Fairy GodSister’s blog!

How many times do you feel like everything isn’t working? Like maybe business isn’t going great, deals aren’t coming in, your relationship isn’t worthy to be used as an example talk less of as a goal, and you’re spits away from quitting?

There are days like that, and it’s okay to feel that way (I guess). What I don’t think we should do, is dwell in the feelings of self-pity, sadness, discontent, whatever. Why?

Because (and I know we shouldn’t start sentences with ‘because’) we have it better than most! There is so much suffering in the world (all you need to do is open your eyes and look around you), but we are not them. Whatever it is we are going through, there are folk who are not only passing through worse, but have no hope of stuff getting better anytime soon (or ever).

I did some thinking recently, and these were the tweets those thoughts produced…Screenshot 2015-08-15 16.20.36

I was traveling between Abuja and Asaba – one of the four or six times I’ve been this year (gist about that will come later) – and I went by road. The car made a comfort stop at an eatery in Lokoja and I needed to wee. So I went to the bathroom and the lady there would always let me use a toilet she otherwise left locked up. So, I would always tip her.

On this trip though, she wasn’t there but the other lady looked at the way I scrunched my nose at the open ones and asked me to come use that locked one. I used it, and left. When I bought stuff we were going to eat in the car, I felt a strong urge to go and give her my change. So I went back, gave her N150 (less than £1 and $1 these days), and her knees hit the floor so fast with the thank yous gushing I gave her an extra N200 (total now just over a pound and a dollar) and literally disappeared.Screenshot 2015-08-15 16.20.51

No jokes. No jobs, and homeboy needed a job desperately. So he now works as a driver. After graduating from university, with a good grade.

Screenshot 2015-08-15 16.26.24

To put it in context, N500 is less than $3 and under £2. That is ‘plenty money’ to some. Are we just bit more appreciative of our circumstances?

Screenshot 2015-08-15 16.26.34

Ahhh, this was a crazy day I will never forget. How do you get to the point where you attempt to strangle your 11 month old baby to death because there’s no money to feed her? https://fairygodsister.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/bringbackourgirls-my-account-of-the-abuja-protests-30-04-2014/

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Are we in agreement? Are we a bit more grateful? Things will get better, I promise you; just keep working at it. But till they do, let’s be grateful for where we are, what we have, and what we’ve been delivered from.

Love, light, and God’s great blessings!

PS: I’m updating this post to clarify a few things based on the feedback I got on social media the day it was published. Was I rejoicing that I have it better than others? No. Was I writing to say I was grateful I had it better than others? God no. The thrust of this post was contentment, and gratitude. Why? Because (and I know I shouldn’t start a sentence with the word but whatever) a few incidents had happened back-to-back that made me chide myself for complaining that stuff I was expecting to happen hadn’t happened. The morning I wrote this, I actually felt a little silly for complaining and complaining when I hadn’t been grateful for what I’ve been privileged to receive and have/own and just wanted to encourage everyone to be a bit more grateful, but keep working to change whatever we feel isn’t where it is/should be yet.

Hope this helps clarify things. If it doesn’t, I tried.

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So, a little backgrounder to this article. Sometime in January a friend ran a series on her blog for people to testify about their year and I sent in this piece. Somehow she didn’t get round to using it.

I was searching for some document this evening (28th March) and I stumbled on it! And so I thought I’d use it for a end-my-first-quarter type of thank you post. And so, here’s my testimony of how brilliant my year has been so far, obviously I’ve added a bit more to the original post – God has really rocked these first three months for me! The additions are in green.

Ready? Let’s do it! Whoop!

 

I Testify!!

2014! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude! Nothing more, this is the year that God and I have agreed will be full of gratitude alone. Gratitude.

2013 was a difficult year. Ooh, very difficult. So difficult some days I was scared that one day I would do something to hurt myself. It was incredible, wearing a smile outside because people were ‘counting on me to smile’ and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but I was really struggling inside. Like I really struggled.

To put this in perspective, I’m not a stranger to rough patches, but I’ve always seen the good in every unpleasant situation, felt like it would get better. But when I woke up on the 21st of July to news that my aunty Pat had passed, the term ‘numb’ came alive. Ooh it came so alive it nearly consumed me.

Can I say a big thank you to Olamide Craig (@RevDrCraig) here? I rang him, and he left school and his preparations for his exams, literally came running. I remember kneeling down by the train station, wailing. He stayed through my rants, tears, and only left after I slept. God bless you for me Craig, God bless you richly. And boy am I excited you scaled the exams! Proud of you baby!

By November it started dawning on me that the weight I put on in the hospital caring for my aunt wasn’t planning to ‘leave me alone’ (lol), and that was a very present worry. One day on Twitter looking through the handles of some fitness experts (if looking /watching Insanity curled up in bed with a hot drink could scare the pounds off my body I’d be anorexic by now I promise), I chanced upon an idea that became the #31Days31Writers project after I tweaked it a bit.

Amazing! Whoop! It’s one of the best things I did last year! Loved the distraction it became, and when the stories started coming in, oh what a joy! Mrs. E’ sent in an entry too, she was up on Christmas Eve! I’m excited at the Christians I’ve been exposed to and become friends with via this blog; it’s such a blessing to be part of a blossoming community of young people who love the Lord!

It wasn’t all gloom and doom though. Matter of fact, when I said I’d send in an entry, it was actually a challenge for me to find things to be grateful for.  All I had to do was think, and boom – testimony after testimony. Have time for a few?

In 2013, I was sought out on LinkedIn by the project manager of MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation to provide social media consultation for Shuga. We’re looking at bigger engagement for the project this year, and I’m proper excited about that!

In September I stood in for a friend (@Chude) at Social Media Week London, moderating a panel of people I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to meet all at once otherwise. Off that event, by December I had gotten two all expenses paid speaking trips for 2014. One of them is in three weeks (butterflies of life and destiny!) That event was Social Media Week in Hamburg, and God really came through for me on so many levels! There are new opportunities off that, and it’s all very exciting! 

In the same 2013, I went to bed and woke up every morning, no struggle. I traveled (and I like to move around), and there never was an evil report (except me missing a flight to Aberdeen, falling asleep on the train back home and therefore missing my stop, losing my train ticket – all in one morning, sigh). Even in that, there were funds for another ticket, strength to go back to the airport that same evening, and a safe trip to and fro. God loves me walai!

My family is healthy. Big miracle. We might have fallen ill once or twice, but we always got better. I remember crying to church one Sunday in October cos my sister sent me a photo of my nephew with bumps all over his body, suffering from a reaction to something. But, he got better, and now feeds himself! My darling boy! Boo Boo is playing football now (he’s all of 18 months, and I’m already looking for scouts for an academy! Hit me up if you know someone!)

Speaking of healing, God healed my dad of some strange, excruciating pain in his shoulder, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I tasted love in 2013, met an awesome young man. I’m excited at the big and great things my Father has designed for me this year, for the grace and humility that led me to read books, listen/watch messages, especially in January. I’m growing (in faith and in my mind), learning about myself, amassing tips I will adapt as necessary; readying myself for the great man and home He has designed for me. And I can’t wait!

I asked God to lead me by hand this year, and not only has He been doing that (patiently, because I know I can be a piece of work), but He’s linked me with people I am accountable to, people I can openly talk to when I struggle, and not worry about anything. This is where I’m grateful for Francesca, Tomi, Wumi, and Tokunbo. Extraordinary women!

Bottomline, I’m not where I should be but ooh this year is so bright I’m excited at the things the rest of the months in the year will bring!

And so I testify today, of His goodness, and His mercy, and His grace, and His love, of His awesomeness and great glory.

I testify because there can never be a good enough explanation for God loving me the way He does, with all my flaws, imperfections and weaknesses. I can’t comprehend it (but then if I did, it wouldn’t be God na… He has to ‘show’ Himself)! Whoop!

I testify because I see 2014. Want to know what I’ve seen? I’ve seen a great year, full of peace, good news, love, hearing from and speaking to God, a complete dissociation from everything that doesn’t please Him, prosperity (oh yes, ooh yes), and immeasurable joy on every side.

This is the year, and I testify!

What are you grateful for? Share!

 

 

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Another one bites the dust…

Posted: February 9, 2014 in DAY 2 DAY
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Cory Monteith. Michael Jackson. Whitney Houston. What two things do these names have in common? Fame/wealth. Undisputed access to tons and tons of money, acclaim, all that good stuff.

The second thing is illicit drugs/death. Whatever it is they snorted, smoked, injected or inhaled, it led to their death, and very early too. Cory Monteith was 31, Michael Jackson was 50. Talk about lives being cut short.

Exactly one week ago, when I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead on the 2nd of February with a needle still stuck in his arm and heroin (a special type called ‘Ace of Spades’) in packets around him, I was sad, then angry, then sad, and angry all over again.

Sad – he died young, he was just 46. He was very popular too, an Oscar award winner, and recently starred in Hunger Games (which by the way I have never watched and don’t think I will ever see because I don’t like fight fight).

Angry – are there not enough examples to prove that drugs are a sure way to die early?

Sad – heartbroken for his family, his wife/partner and their three young children. His parents, and the stigma of being related to the person ‘who died with a needle in his arm’.

Angry – what on earth made him go back to drugs after 23 years of being drug free? Whatever could have entered him all over again? They say his drugs could have been laced with something else. Ok, but why take them in the first place? Why?

I’m sure I could go the sad and angry route a few more times, but I won’t.

Psychologists say anything you do for 30 days becomes a habit – this man had been drug free for at least 8280 days! Then according to a report I read, he started abusing prescription pills, graduated to heroin, and then on to this substance that took his life.

I chatted with someone recently, and he told me the amount of thanks and gratitude he got because he gave him a $5 tip. 5 dollars. Reports say just weeks ago the now late Seymour withdrew $1200 from an ATM to pay for these drugs. $1200 on drugs when the next man is almost throwing a party because he was gifted 5 bucks.

Here’s another reason why I am angry – a child is attracted by the flickering light of a candle, and they want to touch it. Most times we let them because we know once it hurts them that first time, they most likely will not go back to it again. ‘Most likely’ because children have the attention span of a goldfish! Bless them.

23 years after, did he forget? Did he become so wealthy that he felt that the drugs would ‘fear/respect his money’ and not harm him? What was he thinking? The Bible says that the things that are written are unto us for examples.

Just like I wrote the ‘learn from it, don’t be it‘ post when Cory Monteith died, I’m writing again  – say NO to drugs. Say No, and mean it so much that whoever asked you before will be convinced you are not interested. You shouldn’t even be friends with such people in the first place!

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Yesterday made it exactly two months since my darling aunty passed, and it still feels like one day she’ll knock on the door and all of this would have been a huge, cruel joke.

I miss her like crazy, everything still screams her, but I’m learning to be grateful for the times we had, the things she taught me, and the fact that she’s resting in the bosom of the Lord, far above any type of pain at this time.

I thought about her all day yesterday, and when I got tired of listening to Michael Kiwanuka‘s ‘I’ll get along’, I thought I’d write a bit, say a big thank you to people who have been there for me in this period; this time of great grief and sorrow. People in whose arms I’ve cried, in whose words i have comfort and solace, in whose prayers I’ve found strength – people whose friendship I don’t deserve, but I have been fortunate to have been blessed with.

To Olamide Craig who missed a day of school that Monday morning, came over, stayed with me (spent literally the entire day) and only left after I had slept, God bless you. This our friendship sha! Made in heaven ke nan!

To Ace, rockstar! You have been there through all of this, up to when you had to scold me to get it together, I saw your love (and worry) right through. Thank you!

To  my bestie of life and destiny, Miss Wumi Raji! Even though you were dealing with a tragedy of your own, you still found time to check on me, worry about me, tease me, even insult me sef! Love you to the moon and back babe!

To Nike Coker, a friend who is closer than a sister, I love you!!! I won’t ever forget you showing up on the day of the funeral, straight from the airport sef! Whatever did I do to deserve your friendship? God bless you for me o! Massive hugs to Bukky and Tony who showed up to be there for me because you asked them to. God bless you guys loads and loads.

To a friend and boss, Chude, thank you. Who else gives their staff two months off work? When we were in hospital, when she passed, I didn’t have to worry about my work suffering, because you let me off anyway. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. How many times can I say that really?

To Zoey, of the tapestry treasures blog, whoop! What would I have done without you? We’ve never met but at some point I could hear you talking to me just by the comments you were leaving on my posts! God bless you for all the words of encouragement, the prayers, the personal stories you shared, I’m more than grateful! Thank you Zoey…

To Matilda (daughter of Zion ke nan), Anino (whatever would I do without you), my iBlend family, buddies on social media, people everywhere who showered love and affection, who called, who prayed, who sent messages, who still check to see that we’re all holding up ok.

God bless you.

Thank you.